Barcelona are training in Germany ahead of their third pre-season game. While the opening two games have given an idea of the youngsters who could make it big this season, the second phase of the preseason will be important to realize how the youngsters and new signings gel in with the mainstays like Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
Ronald Koeman will likely keep the big Spanish guns on the bench at begin with, especially given that they have just returned to training after the Euros. However, it will be interesting to see which of the youngsters he persists with. With the first game in Germany just hours away, here is how Barcelona could lineup against Stuttgart:
Marc Andre ter Stegen has been slowly recuperating from his surgical procedure, Neto has once again risen to prominence. The Brazilian’s exit in the window seemed all but certain, but there has been no progress in that aspect. While Inaki Pena makes a strong case to start, Koeman might want to give Neto more game time knowing that the Brazilian will have to cover up until ter Stegen is back.
The centre-back pairing on the night will likely be Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. The duo had a forgettable season for most parts last year and will be looking to make amends. Ronald Araujo has made the squad after returning to training early, but will probably be brought on as a substitute in the second half.
Sergino Dest will start as the right-back. The USMNT player has his work cut out for him this year with Emerson Royale and Sergi Roberto breathing down his neck. It will require tremendous focus and a high level of play from the youngster to guarantee his starting spot.
The left-back on the night will likely be Alejandro Balde. The 17-year-old recently signed a contract extension and is reportedly in Ronald Koeman’s list of top four talents for the season. An impressive showing from him would keep him in the first team loop for the whole season as a deputy to Jordi Alba.