Barcelona v Roma Live Commentary & Result, 01/08/2018, International Champions Cup

2′ An early opportunity for Barcelona! Munir gets into the penalty area and receives a great centring pass from Malcom, but the striker scuffs his shot and it loops over Olsen’s hand and out for a goal-kick.

1′ Roma get us underway at AT&T Stadium!

Roma make a whole host of changes for today’s fixture – 8 in all. Newly acquired Robin Olsen takes his place in goal, replacing Antonio Mirante. Alessandro Florenzi replaces Luca Pellegrini at right-back while the entire midfield trio is replaced. Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini replace Maxime Gonalons, Javier Pastore and Bryan Cristante. In attack, Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko earn a start instead of Diego Perotti and Patrik Schick – the latter of whom was very lacklustre in their last match. On the left, Justin Kluivert – who looked bright after coming on as a substitute – takes the spot formerly occupied by Cengiz Under.

Barcelona make three changes from the side that beat Tottenham 5-3 after penalties – as well as a tactical switch from 4-4-2 to their more traditional 4-3-3. At left-back, Juan Miranda is replaced by Marc Cucurella, while in midfield, an injury to Andre Gomes means a start for Aleix Vidal. The third switch is perhaps most interesting, as Denis Suarez is dropped in favour of Malcom. It will certainly be interesting to see how he is received here by Roma fans in the stadium.

Roma substitutes: Luca Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Juan Jesus, Diego Perotti, Aleksandar Kolarov, Patrik Schick, Federico Fazio, Maxime Gonalons, Javier Pastore, William Bianda, Matteo Cardinali, Daniel Fuzato, Antonio Mirante.

Roma Starting XI (4-3-3): Robin Olsen; Alessandro Florenzi, Kostas Manolas, Ivan Marcano, Davide Santon; Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko, Justin Kluivert.

Barcelona substitutes: Oscar Mingueza, Abel Ruiz, Carles Perez, Ricard Puig, Ballou Tabla, Alex Collado, Monchu, Juan Miranda, Chumi Brandariz, Ballou Tabla, Sergi Palencia, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Paco Alcacer, Aleix Vidal, Jokin Ezkieta, Juan Miranda, Jorge Cuenca, Denis Suarez.

Barcelona Starting XI (4-3-3): Jasper Cillissen; Nelson Semedo, Marlon, Clement Lenglet, Marc Cucurella; Arthur, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha; Aleix Vidal, Munir, Malcom.

With 15 minutes to go, it’s about time we look at how the two sides will be lining up this evening! Let’s start with Barcelona.

Despite fielding a starting XI of considerable strength, Roma were horrific at times defensively in their last match. Kostas Manolas and Juan Jesus were tormented by the brute strength of Fernando Llorente. Luca Pellegrini had an especially tough evening, picking up a booking and failing to mark Lucas who scored Spurs’ third and fourth goals. It is worth watching to see if Di Francesco shuffles his pack in order to remain defensively stable against a side with immense attacking potential.

Both of these sides are coming off matches against Tottenham – with differing results. After going a goal up in the first five minutes of the match, Roma suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of their London counterparts, conceding four goals in 30 first-half minutes. Barcelona looked comfortable with a 2-0 lead at half-time against Pochettino’s side, only to have it squandered in a mad four-minute period. Unlike Eusebio Di Francesco’s club – Ernesto Valverde’s side were able to save their blushes and ultimately claim victory, albeit in a penalty shoot-out.

If a signing race wasn’t enough of an intriguing sub-plot, this is also the first time Roma will face Barcelona since the Blaugrana’s shocking Champions League quarter-final defeat to the Giallorossi. Leading 4-1 after the first leg, a historic 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico sealed Roma’s passage to the semi-finals where they eventually lost to Liverpool.

We are in for a belting game this evening as Roma and Barcelona square off on the pitch a mere week after the conclusion of the Malcom transfer saga which saw the former Bordeaux winger choose the Catalan club over the Italian capital at seemingly the last moment.

Good evening and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the International Champions Cup fixture between Barcelona and Roma from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

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