La Liga: Barcelona kick off title defense with a tricky game in Getafe

 - Sakshi Post

Madrid (Spain), Aug 12 (IANS) La Liga champions FC Barcelona will open their title defense with a difficult away game at Getafe on Sunday evening.

Barca coach Xavi Hernandez should have something approaching a full squad after the club was able to find the necessary finance on Friday to inscribe Ronald Araujo and Ilkay Gundogan into their first-team squad, and others such as Alejandro Balde and Oriol Romeu should have been written into the squad by Sunday's match.

However, Barcelona have been depleted by the departure of Franck Kessie to Saudi Arabia during the week, while Ousmane Dembele's move to Paris Saint-Germain was confirmed on Saturday morning.

That means Xavi will still have to include some B-team players in Sunday's squad, with Fermin Lopez and impressive 16-year-old winger Lamine Yamal also likely to travel.

Araujo's inclusion in the squad means that either he or Jules Kounde will play at right-back, with the other partnering Andreas Christensen in central defense and Balde on the left.

Gundogan will slot in to replace Sergio Busquets in central midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, while Gavi, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha lead the attack.

Barca made heavy weather of beating Tottenham in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Tuesday night with three goals in the last nine minutes, and Getafe will think they have a chance of frustrating them.

Expect a dry pitch in the Alfonso Perez Coliseum, with Getafe coach Jose Bordalas saying: "Nobody can complain about the pitch, as La Liga demands certain standards, but with the climate, the pitches are drier, but you can't complain about that."

The coach lamented that the summer transfer window has seen eight players leave the club over the summer, with only Choco Lozano, Daniel Fuzato and Jose Angel Carmona coming in, while Enes Unal remains out of action with a knee injury.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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