Valerenga vs. Barcelona: Friendly Preview, Team News and Projected Barca XI

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Valerenga vs. Barcelona: Friendly Preview, Team News and Projected Barca XI
Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Norwegian side Valerenga hosts Barcelona on Saturday in what will be a midseason game for the hosts, and a second preseason game for the Spanish side.

As stated on Barcelona's website, the game was set up as part of of Valerenga's 100-year anniversary celebrations. The two sides have met in a similar situation before, with Barcelona coming out 4-2 winners in an encounter before the 2010/11 campaign.

One of the main points of interest for this match will be the arrival of Barcelona's new coach, Gerardo Martino.

The result won't be of major importance for either side, as Valerenga will be enjoying the celebrations, and the opposition, while Barcelona will be focused more on the fitness and well-being of their players.

Here is a complete preview of the match, with the latest team news and a projected lineup for Barcelona.

 

Valerenga Team News

It's been two weeks since Valerenga has played a match of any kind, and they will be using this Barcelona fixture as a tune-up for the return of Norwegian league play.

They play against Sarpsborg SK just two days after the Barcelona match.

Valerenga currently sits in eighth place in the Tippeligaen. They have a record of six wins, three draws and seven losses.

The Norwegian side will likely start with their strongest squad and then make changes in order to be ready for their next league game.

 

Barcelona Team News

Though Gerardo Martino is set to be presented to the media in Spain on Friday, it's likely that he could fly out to meet his side before their game on Saturday. If he does, it will be interesting to see what he may or may not do.

The Blaugrana played their first preseason game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and lost 2-0. The game against Valerenga presents the second of six preseason games before the season kicks off.

With first-team players like Andres Iniesta, Pique and the newly signed Neymar still on holiday, Barcelona will likely line up as they did against Bayern Munich.

Barcelona Projected Lineup (4-3-3): Pinto; Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra, Javier Mascherano, Adriano; Jonathan dos Santos, Alex Song, Sergi Roberto; Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Cristian Tello 

 

Players to Watch

Valerenga: Mohammed Fellah

Mohammed Fellah recently made his way into the Norwegian national team setup, making his debut for the side in January of this year.

The attacking midfielder has missed most of the season so far through injury, but he may turn out against Barcelona after playing in Valerenga's last game.

He possesses a great long-range shot and has one goal in five league games so far this season.

 

Barcelona: Alex Song

Alex Song will have a lot to prove in his second season at Barcelona, and a good way start off a positive campaign is to play well in preseason. 

The Cameroonian midfielder should have a fairly simple game, considering the opposition, but cannot take anything for granted. Any poor slips in a game like this could give his new boss cause to question whether he should remain at the club.

 

*Unless otherwise stated, all statistics courtesy of ESPN FC.

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