Barcelona take their pre-season preparations up a notch this weekend as they take on VfB Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday. The Catalans have an impressive blend of youth and experience at the moment and have a point to prove in this match.
VfB Stuttgart have been fairly inconsistent over the past year and will need to be at their best in this fixture. The German outfit secured a ninth-place finish in the Bundesliga last season and will need to make the most of their pre-season friendlies this summer.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have been active in the transfer market and have grown as a unit under Ronald Koeman. The Catalan giants have been impressive this month and will be intent on securing another victory this weekend.
VfB Stuttgart vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona have a predictably excellent record against VfB Stuttgart and have won three out of four matches played between the two teams. VfB Stuttgart have never defeated Barcelona and will need to take it up a notch on Saturday.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place over a decade ago in 2010 and ended in a 4-0 victory for Barcelona. VfB Stuttgart face an uphill battle this weekend and will need to be at their best this weekend.
VfB Stuttgart form guide: W-D-W-W-W
Barcelona form guide: W-W-W-D-W
VfB Stuttgart vs Barcelona Team News
VfB Stuttgart's new signing Chris Fuhrich is currently recovering from surgery and has been ruled out of this fixture. Orel Mangala and Silas Mvumpa are also injured and will be excluded from the squad.
Injured: Chris Fuhrich, Orel Mangala, Silas Mvumpa, Sasa Kalajdzic, Lilian Egloff, Momo Cisse
Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are currently recovering from long-term injuries and have been ruled out of this match. Pedri, Eric Garcia, and Oscar Mingueza are representing Spain at the Olympics and will be unable to feature in this game.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba are enjoying extended breaks after a gruelling summer of international football. Memphis Depay scored his first goal for Barcelona last week and could start this game.
Injured: Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Unavailable: Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets
VfB Stuttgart vs Barcelona Predicted XI
VfB Stuttgart Predicted XI (4-4-2): Fabian Bredlow; Atakan Karazor, Pascal Stenzel, Waldemar Anton, Borna Sosa; Wataru Endo, Clinton Mola, Daniel Didavi, Philipp Forster; Mohamed Sankoh, Tanguy Coulibaly
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-3-3): Inaki Pena; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Sergino Dest; Nico Gonzalez, Alex Collado, Gavi; Yusuf Demir, Memphis Depay, Rey Manaj
VfB Stuttgart vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona have a squad filled to the brim with young talent and will view this game as an opportunity to experiment with their lineups this weekend. The likes of Gavi and Yusuf Demir have already impressed Ronald Koeman with their performances and will want to establish themselves as first-team regulars this year.
VfB Stuttgart have pulled off a fair share of upsets in the Bundesliga but will have their work cut out for them this weekend. Barcelona are the better team on paper and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Barcelona