Barcelona Vs Vissel Kobe Preview
Closing out FC Barcelona’s season is an overseas friendly game in Japan against Vissel Kobe. These two teams will be looking to either repeat or redeem themselves from their previous match, which took place four years ago. This time, a crowd of up to 66,000 will see these two teams duke it out at Japan National Stadium.
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A Look Back at Their 2019 Friendly Match
Before we start looking ahead to their game on the 6th of June, let’s look back to their first friendly match four years ago. Despite the home advantage at Noevir Stadium Kobe, Vissel Kobe lost against Barcelona, 2-0.
Leading the attack for Vissel was David Villa, flanked by Yuga Goke and Keijiro Ogawa. Throughout the game, the team ultimately only had one shot on target and three off-target shots. Their possession was relatively low as well, sitting at 36 per cent.
On the other hand, Antoine Griezmann and Riqui Puig led Barcelona to victory, earning six shots on target, with 64 per cent possession. But ultimately, Carles Pérez’s brace led them to victory, with goals scored in the 59th and 86th minutes.
What to Expect at the 2023 Match
Quite a few faces have changed in both teams since their last match-up, which could improve either side’s chances of winning.
Vissel Kobe, for example, will likely still run the same 4-4-3 formation as they did against Barcelona years ago. Except this time, Yuya Osako will lead the attack for them. Former Barcelona player Andres Iniesta is unlikely to be in the starting eleven, though he will be on the substitute’s bench.
On the other hand, Barcelona will face Vissel with their new striker Robert Lewandowski, likely in a 4-3-3 formation. Raphinha and Gavi are likely to support Lewandowski, which could give Vissel a problem with speed. Memphis Depay is unlikely to participate due to a calf muscle injury.
With this information in mind, the chances are high that Barcelona will win against Vissel again. Despite Osako’s pace and potential to penetrate the Barcelona defence, Lewandowski has been explosive for the team since his transfer earlier this year. Barcelona’s bench also has many speedy and crafty players to overwhelm their opponents.
It’s also telling that Barcelona has already won in La Liga this season, while Vissel’s top spot in the J1 League isn’t secure yet. Even though they’re five points ahead of defending champions Yokohama F. Marinos, Vissel could still lose their lead.
But at the end of the day, the results of this international friendly match are still anyone’s guess. Vissel is well-positioned to avenge their loss from four years ago but Barcelona won’t make it easy for them. However, one thing’s for sure, this game will be full of excitement.