Barcelona vs. AS Roma: 3 things that will shape the outcome of Gamper Trophy game

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Barcelona take on Luis Enrique's old side AS Roma in the 50th edition of the Joan Gamper trophy, the traditional Camp Nou curtain raiser, on Wednesday evening.

It will be a tough test for the Catalans against a side that have only lost out domestically in the last couple of seasons to an inspired Juventus side, and who still possess the mercurial talents of Francesco Totti, belying his 38 years.

A carnival atmosphere is guaranteed as always and although Barca will be keen to win, there is other business to attend to within the week, and this may just affect how Enrique treats this friendly.


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Let's take a look at three things that will decide the outcome...

Super Cup success

Sevilla lie in wait just six days after this game, but not in Andalusia. The powers that be at UEFA have decreed that the two Spanish sides that are contesting the European Super Cup do so in Tblisi, Georgia.

Therefore, a much earlier journey than usual is necessary for both teams to prepare appropriately.

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Barca can ill-afford for any player to sustain an injury in the lead up to the next stage of their assault on an unprecedented second sextuple, and therefore certain players are arguably likely to play far few minutes than if there was a break to the start of the La Liga campaign.

To add insult to injury, within another six days of the European variant, Barca play Athletic Bilbao twice to determine the winners of the Spanish Super Cup.

No rest for the wicked.

Pedro's last game?

If the various reports are to be believed, this will be Pedro Rodriguez's final game for Barca before a transfer to Manchester United is concluded.

It would therefore be highly unlikely that Luis Enrique will do anything other than allow the player a final swansong of a full 90 minutes.

Should that be the case then Neymar, who needs minutes himself after an extended break, might be forced to accept a bit-part role in this one.

Whether that will be beneficial to both player and club in the short term will only be seen over the coming few weeks.

Lucho certainly needs all of his big stars fit and firing and any perceived drop-off in quality and fitness could hit the Catalans hard in the early stages.

The manager is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Poor pre-season

This is a final chance for Barcelona to redeem themselves after what has amounted to a poor pre-season so far.

A win against LA Galaxy in their very first match is hardly likely to have the Italians running scared.

The returning Seydou Keita won't allow sentiment to stand in the way of ensuring his new side add to Enrique's woes.

And Roma certainly have the exponents to cause Barca problems.

Do you think Barcelona should play a strong squad against Roma or should they be more focused on the UEFA Super Cup? Give us YOUR opinion in the comment box below! 

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Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez
La Liga
Serie A
AS Roma
Luis Enrique

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