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Vissel Kobe v Barcelona

Vissel Kobe vs Barcelona: TV channel, live stream, team news & preview

10:10 SAST 2019/07/27
Antoine Griezmann Barcelona 2019-20
Former Camp Nou stars Andres Iniesta, Sergi Samper and David Villa will get the unique chance to play against their former club on Saturday

Barcelona complete their tour of Japan with a match against Vissel Kobe at Misaki Park Stadium.

The Camp Nou side previously suffered a 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Tuesday, with Ivan Rakitic grabbing a stoppage-time consolation for Ernesto Valverde’s men.

Meanwhile, they face a Vissel outfit that has a strong Barca connection, with Sergi Samper, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and, as of Saturday, Thomas Vermaelen all on their books.

The Catalans’ old boys will be keen to show they can still cut it against their former side but have lost their last three in the J-League and hover just above the relegation zone.

Game Vissel Kobe vs Barcelona
Date Saturday, July 27
Time 10:00am BST / 5:00am ET

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In the United States (US), the game can be watched live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It can be streamed via ESPN Deportes+.

US TV channel Online stream
ESPN / ESPN Deportes ESPN Deportes+

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on FreeSports and can be streamed via Rakuten Sports.

UK TV channel Online stream
FreeSports Rakuten Sports

Squads & Team News

Position Vissel Kobe squad
Goalkeepers Iikura, Maekawa, Yoshimaur, Ogi, Ito
Defenders Oumari, Watanabe, Osaki, Dankler, Miya, Kobayashi, Nasu, Yamakawa, Hatsue, Hashimoto, Nishi, Fujitani
Midfielders Oda, Yamauchi, Yamaguchi, Samper, Iniesta, Goke, Yasui, Nakasaka, Masuyama
Forwards Furuhashi, Ogawa, Villa, Wellington, Tanaka

Vissel Kobe have been given the week off J-League action and start against Barcelona with their strongest team, with Andres Iniesta at its heart.

Former Germany star Lukas Podolski has been struggling with illness lately and misses out.

Confirmed Vissel Koba starting XI: Maekawa; Ogawa, Dankler, Miya, Hatsuse; Fujitani, Yamaguchi, Samper, Iniesta, Goke; Villa

Position Barcelona squad
Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Neto
Defenders Semedo, Pique, Todibo, Lenglet, Roberto, Umtiti, Alba, Araujo, Jaime
Midfielders Rakitic, S. Busquets, Arthur, Rafinha, Alena, De Jong, Vidal, Alena, Perez, Collado, O. Busquets, Monchu, Puig
Forwards Dembele, Griezmann, Malcom, Abe

Gerard Pique will not play in Saturday’s game, with the club confirming he misses out due to a thigh niggle that no risks will be taken over.

Luis Suarez is back training in Barcelona after completing his summer holidays, while Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho are among the others who have yet to join up with the squad after international duty.

Confirmed Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Araujo, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Riqui Puig; Rafinha, Griezmann, Collado

Betting & Match Odds

Barcelona are favourites at 1/4 to win the match with bet365. Vissel are 9/1 outsiders while a draw is priced at 5/1.

Click here to see all of bet365's offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Barcelona will take the opportunity against Vissel Kobe to meet up with some old friends in the form of Sergi Samper, Andres Iniesta and David Villa, but while the fun side of the match is the reunion, head coach Ernesto Valverde will want to see his players get back to winning ways.

The Catalans suffered a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in their opening friendly match of the summer but will expec to come out on top versus a side struggling in the J-League and approaching this game after three successive defeats.

It is a match that has been billed as Barcelona’s past against the club’s future, and in the build-up Andres Iniesta has given his verdict on new additions Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann.

“De Jong is an exceptional signing, an upward leap for the club, young, very talented and, if all goes well, will be a benchmark for the Barcelona midfield,” the man who got Spain’s winning goal at the 2010 World Cup said.

“I have said it before, Griezmann is an exceptional player, who knows La Liga and the team-mates he is going to have at Barca, so everything indicates that his career as a cule will be positive.”

Meanwhile, this is a fixture that the 35-year-old is very much looking forward to as it presents an opportunity to reunite with lifelong companions such as Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique, who misses the game injured.

“On a personal level, it will be a very special match for me, facing former team-mates,” Iniesta, who has only played professionally for two clubs, said. 

“For us, as a club and as a team, it’s a privilege to be able to play against Barcelona.

“It’s a very special game that we will all try and savour; we will try to do things that will help us for our next game, which is the most important one.”

Barcelona are now playing in a more structured manner than they did when Iniesta was involved in the years of pure ‘tiki-taka’, and it is this old-school approach from the Blaugrana that the Spaniard is trying to help implement in Japan.

“We always try to play football that is attractive and to have our own identity,” he said. “We all want to play well and win. It’s the most difficult thing to do; it requires a process but the club is working on it, working to change results and to gain confidence with good results.”

There would be no better confidence boost than to beat Barca.