Preview: Vissel Kobe vs. Barcelona

Preview: Vissel Kobe vs. Barcelona

La Liga champions Barcelona will officially round off their 2022-23 campaign with a friendly against Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe in Tokyo on Tuesday night.

Xavi’s side will conclude their La Liga season on Sunday evening against Celta Vigo before immediately travelling to Tokyo for the friendly encounter with Takayuki Yoshida’s side.

Vissel Kobe will bring an excellent run of form into this glamour friendly, having put together a seven-game unbeaten run, which has included five victories.

Yoshida’s team were 3-2 winners over Tokyo last time out, and a total of 33 points from 15 matches has left them at the top of the J1 League table and in a strong position to launch a serious title challenge.

Vissel Kobe have never won Japan’s top flight and finished down in 13th last season, which is an indication of their improvement this season, and they will be back in domestic action against Cerezo Osaka on June 10, but their full attention will currently be on the clash with the Spanish champions.

The home side have a certain Andres Iniesta in their ranks, with the Barcelona legend making the move to Vissel Kobe in 2018, but his match will be one of his final appearances for the club, as he will leave at the start of July, having found it difficult to secure regular action this term.

Barcelona, as mentioned, will conclude their La Liga campaign against Celta on Sunday evening before travelling straight to Japan for this friendly encounter.

All of the players named in the squad for the Celta game will travel for this match, meaning that a strong team will be on display, and head coach Xavi will certainly want to end the campaign with a victory.

Barcelona have fallen short in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey this season, but they have comfortably won La Liga, securing the title in the middle of May.

The Catalan outfit actually lost their two games against Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid after the victory over Espanyol had confirmed their position as champions, but they managed to return to winning ways in their final home game of the season, putting three unanswered goals past Mallorca.

This will be Barcelona’s last game until July 21, when they begin their pre-season against Juventus, and it is set to be a fascinating summer transfer window for the club, with a number of players set to arrive and depart.

Vissel Kobe form (all competitions):

Barcelona form (all competitions):

We say: Vissel Kobe 1-2 Barcelona
It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from these type of matches, especially as Barcelona will have played on Sunday night. It should be a competitive and open game, though, and we are expecting Barcelona’s quality to shine through to allow them to claim the victory.

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