All but one of the new players are registered and it’s time to see Xavi Hernandez’s new-look Barcelona can deliver in its first competitive match of the 2022/23 season against Rayo Vallecano at the Nou Camp.
The first match of the La Liga season will see the Blaugrana face an opponent which defeated it on two occasions in the last campaign. But Barcelona must feel like some of the issues that led to those losses — namely a lack of game-breaking scorers in attack — will produce a different result.
Star forward Robert Lewandowski, Brazilian winger Raphinha, and center-back Andreas Christensen will get the start in their La Liga debuts, with Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie starting on the bench.
Barcelona will want to make a clean break from the 2021/22 team, and show that they are powers to be reckoned with once again, especially after pulling as many financial levers as they did to produce the funds to upgrade the squad. They hope they now have the quality necessary to contend with European champions and eternal rivals Real Madrid, who only lost four of 38 league matches on their way to the last league championship. Slip-ups against opponents like Rayo will be costly.
Sporting News is following the Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano match live and providing live score updates, commentary.
MORE: La Liga standings table 2022/23
Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano live score
Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano live updates, highlights from La Liga
20th min.: Raphinha with a shot from the top of the box that goes high. The Brazilian has been very active. Moments later the other winger, Ousmane Dembele also fires on goal.
For now these two players are bringing a different dimension to the Barcelona attack with their 1-on-1 ability and their desire to make things happen.
📸 Raphinha pic.twitter.com/tsP6BMfUIb
— Barça Spaces (@BarcaSpaces) August 13, 2022
14th min.: Yellow card to Dembele on a dangerous tackle on Pathe Ciss in an attempt to win the ball back. It’s the right call. Barcelona are aggressive, with and without the ball.
Dembele modo casemiro xD pic.twitter.com/gkeTTv7XFN
— Culé FCB (@_Cule1899__) August 13, 2022
12th min.: Lewandowski with a delicious chipped goal, but it’s disallowed because he was offside on the ball to him in the box.
10th min.: Quiet start to this one until Raphinha makes a run into the right side of the Rayo box and goes down on a challenge from the left back. But there’s nothing there. Good no call by the referee.
1st min.: Rayo kick off and they’re aggressive from the start with a direct ball, and they’re pressing high. Meanwhile, Raphinha starts on the right and Dembele on the left.
5 mins from kickoff: Teams are walking out on the field. Cameras are locked on Robert Lewandowski. We’re moments away from kickoff
— Xavier Sánchez (@XavierPuumuki13) August 13, 2022
20 mins from kickoff: Robert Lewandowski is just getting warmed up.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 13, 2022
30 mins from kickoff: Barcelona have four wins and two draws in the six matches that Pedro and Gavi have played together in La Liga.
9 – Este es el noveno partido del Barcelona con Pedri y Gavi en el once titular en todas las competiciones. El conjunto azulgrana solo ha perdido dos de los ocho encuentros anteriores con estos dos jugadores saliendo de inicio (4V 2E 2D) y ninguno en LaLiga (4V 2E). Ilusión. pic.twitter.com/rNyeMzmZw1
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 13, 2022
60 mins from kickoff: Tonight’s match should have the feel of a big occasion.
🏟😍 Avui al Camp Nou arrenca una nova temporada del Barça!
📲 I com sempre tota la informació al Twitter del @QueThiJugues
Let’s go! 💪 pic.twitter.com/2NUtTAewb9
— Què T’hi Jugues (@QueThiJugues) August 13, 2022
Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano lineups
With the summer signings registered and ready to play, Xavi Hernandez opts for this most productive and balanced lineup during preseason. Big names like Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Frenkie De Jong, and Sergino Dest, who also happen to be in demand on the transfer market, will start on the bench.
Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 1-Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (GK) — 4-Ronald Araujo, 15-Andreas Christensen, 24-Eric Garcia, 18-Jordi Alba — 30-Gavi, 5-Sergio Busquets, 8-Pedri — 7-Ousmane Dembele, 9-Robert Lewandowski, 22-Raphinha.
Barcelona subs (12): 26-Inaki Pena (GK), 36-Arnau Tenas (GK), 3-Gerard Pique, 20-Sergi Roberto, 28-Alejandro Balde, 16-Miralem Pjanic, 19-Franck Kessie, 21-Frenkie De Jong, 10-Ansu Fati, 11-Ferran Torres, 14-Memphis Depay, 17-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
MORE: Full Barcelona squad list & player numbers for 2022/23 season
Rayo Vallecano finished the season in poor form, but still wound up in mid-table (12th). They could use some more production out of the forward position: Sergio Camello has won the starting spot over 36-year-old Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, who lost his place in the lineup last season. Luca Zidane and Sergi Guardiola, the sons of Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola, both left the club this summer and are no longer with the team.
Rayo Vallecano starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 13-Stole Dimitrievski (GK) — 20-Ivan Balliu, 19-Florian Lejeune, 5-Alejandro Catena, 3-Fran Garcia — 17-Unai Lopez, 8-Oscar Trejo, 21-Ismaila Pathe Ciss — 7-Isi Palazon, 16-Sergio Camello, 18-Alvaro Garcia.
Rayo Vallecano subs (12): 1-Diego Lopez (GK), 30-M. Morro (GK), 2-Mario Hernandez, 4-Mario Suarez, 10-Bebe, 11-Randy Nteka, 14-Salvi Sanchez, 23-Oscar Valentin, 22-Jose Pozo, 28-Pablo Munoz, 29-Diego Mendez, 9-Radamel Falcao
Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano TV channel, live stream
|Date||Sat, Aug. 13||Sat, Aug. 13||Sat, Aug. 13||Sun, Aug. 14|
|Time||20:00 BST||15:00 ET||15:00 ET||05:00 AET|
|TV channel||Premier Sports 1,
|ABC, ESPN Deportes||—||—|
|Streaming||Premier Player HD,
Amazon Prime Video
|fuboTV, ESPN+||TSN||Optus Sport|
UK: The match from the Camp Nou can be seen on Premier Sports 1 or LaLiga TV in the UK. In addition to being a TV channel, LaLiga TV streams on Amazon Prime Video in the region.
USA: Saturday’s match between Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano will be broadcast in the USA on ABC (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish), which are both available to be streamed on fuboTV.
Canada: The match will be streamed by La Liga partner TSN in Canada.
Australia: All La Liga matches are available to stream on Optus Sport in Australia.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism