Spanish football giants Barcelona arrive in Sydney on Wednesday night ahead of their first match in Australia against the A-League All-Stars.
The club only finished its La Liga season on Monday morning (AEST), yet jumped on a plane, missing the most notable from the visiting team of veteran defender Gerard Pique.
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Captain Sergio Busquets is part of the Spanish team traveling with Brazilian superstar Dani Alves, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Frankie de Jong, Memphis Depp, teen sensation Ansu Fatti and goalkeeper Mark-Andre Ter Stegen.
With changes to the A-League All-Stars squad late after the A-League semifinals over the weekend, Dwight York-coach had little time to prepare for the team.
The former Manchester United and Sydney FC star has never led a team before and admits that most people do not give his team a chance, especially with limited preparation. However, if the five-time European champions had a good time playing, York believed it was, giving local players a chance to show off their skills in front of the Spanish giants.
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“I don’t think a lot of people expect us to go there and win the game,” York said.
“After a tough fighting season I was in that situation, you go on a plane far away for a game.
“A lot of people don’t expect us to overthrow Barcelona, so we have a free shot against them,” York added. “I’m sure one or two of these players have aspirations to play abroad against these big clubs and this is a good opportunity for some of them.”
Barcelona’s first match in Australia will draw spectators in anticipation of the presence of more than 70,000 people at the Acre Stadium, which will be a record after the epidemic.
Here’s what you need to know.
When is the Barcelona vs A-League All Stars match?
Barcelona will face A-League All-Stars on Wednesday night at 8.05 pm (AEST) at Acre Stadium.
Both teams will also hold an open training session on Tuesday night.
How to watch Barcelona vs A-League All Stars
Australian spectators will be able to watch the match live and for free via Network 10.
Which player is coming to Australia?
Barcelona have confirmed that they have brought a 20-man squad to Australia. They will be without injuries to Gerard Pique, Pedri, Sergio Roberto, Eric Garcia and Sergino Dest, who are behind.
Barcelona will also miss Ricky Puig and Oscar Mingueza in international duties, while Ferran Torres will miss the trip due to his condition.
Apart from Martin Braithwaite, who is in charge of international affairs with Denmark, the Spaniards will be there, while Neto and Clement Lenglet will also be out for family reasons.
Barcelona’s full squad
Goalkeeper: Mark-Andre Ter Stegen, Arnau Tenas
Defender: Dani Alves, Ronald Araujo, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Alexander Balde, Mika Marble
Midfielder: Sergio Busquets, Frankie de Jong, Gavi, Alvaro Sanz, Jandro Orellana, Antonio Arunda, Adama Traore
Forward: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Usman Dembele, Memphis Depp, Ansu Fati, Luke de Jung
A-League All-Star Squad
The squad consisted of 13 players selected by the fans, 15 from York and two from A-League Commissioner Greg O’Rourke.
The friendly match will be played just days before the A-League Men’s Grand Final, which means that the players of these two teams will not be able to compete.
It’s been eight years since the All-Stars fought in the last A-League. On that occasion they played Juventus and won 3-2.
A-League All-Star Squad
Goalkeeper: Jamie Young *, Philip Curto, Andrew Redmine
Defender: Adama Travor, Curtis Good *, Leo Lacroix *, Jason Davidson, Ryan Grant, Ben Garuccio *, Adrian Mariappa, Roderick Miranda, Scott Neville, Kai Rolls
Midfielder: Daniel Penha, Anthony Caceres, Milos Ninkovic, Jack Rodwell, Jack Brimer, Isaiah Sanchez, Jay O’Shea, Reno Piskopo, Callum Timins
Forward: Jamie McLaren *, Beka Mikeltadze, Craig Goodwin, Jason Cummings, Garang Cowell, Matthew Leakey *, Marco Tilio *, Nestroy Irankunda
* The Great Final Promise has been canceled
Details of Barcelona vs A-League All Stars ticket
Tickets for the match are available through TicketTech.
The cheapest adult tickets can be purchased for $ 49, while seats are also available in the Barcelona Active Support section.
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