Barcelona v Fiorentina: 3 things that will shape the outcome

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Barcelona head into their final game of the International Champions Cup against Fiorentina in reasonable form.

Unlike their first three games, which were all played in America, this one takes place nearer to home in Italy and is the last pre-season game before the Gamper Trophy, the traditional Camp Nou curtain raiser, against AS Roma.

The Catalans will be keen to put on a show for the thousands of fans expected to travel to this one, having missed out on the American tour.


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A full-strength Blaugrana is still unlikely, but Luis Enrique will be wanting his players to have built up a head of steam after an intensive few weeks of training and games.

Let's take a look at three things that might shape the outcome of this one...

Second coming of Rossi?

If La Viola are to have any chance of sneaking a win in this one then they need Giuseppe Rossi to be on point. The ex-Villarreal man is finally putting down roots again and the confidence in his play is evident as a result.

Against what is expected to be another experimental back line for Barca, Rossi could profit handsomely. He showed against Paris Saint-Germain that he has lost none of his finishing prowess. A shame that the same can't be said for his strike partner, the lumbering Mario Gomez.

If Rossi doesn't hit the right notes, Fiorentina are in for a long night's work.

Barca's lack of punch

With Lionel Messi and Neymar still absent from the Barca line up, the attack lacks a bit of punch.

Manchester United target Pedro Rodriguez has huffed and puffed without too much reward and on this form, it's impossible to see how he is going to usurp the three first choice attackers again in the early stages of the coming season.

Munir El-Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez can step in as required in this one, but they too have done little to convince Enrique that they are a viable alternative to his tried and tested.

Luis Suarez has been the exception and has worked hard in every game thus far this pre-season. La Liga defences should be on alert because the ex-Liverpool man already looks in the mood.

He can't do it all on his own however, so unless he is going to be given a well overdue helping hand, then Barca might have to settle for a draw here.

Vermaelen or Mathieu?

This is the final game before Javier Mascherano returns to Barca, along with the other players who worked their socks off in the Copa America. The expectation is that once back, Enrique will have no problem in handing him back his central defensive berth alongside Gerard Pique.

However, that is to ignore the claims of Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu to the role. Whilst it's true that both haven't excelled whilst on tour, neither have they been as bad as many might have expected.

Given the height difference that both have over the Argentine, a decent performance here and at the Gamper Trophy could give Enrique some food for thought before the opening games of the season.

With Mario Gomez hopelessly out of form, Rossi never likely to win anything aerially, this game represents the best chance for either player to prove the critics wrong.

Barca fans, how do you think your side will fare this coming season? Can they make it historic back-to-back trebles? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

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Luis Suarez
La Liga
Serie A

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