FC Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Huge opportunity for Spurs fringe players against a weakened Barça side

Spurs face a tough challenge against Barcelona on Sunday but the La Liga champions are without the majority of their star players.

FC Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Huge opportunity for Spurs fringe players against a weakened Barça side
Photo: Sean M. Haffey/International Champions Cup

Tottenham Hotspur face their second International Champions Cup match against Barcelona in California. 

Tottenham ran riot in their opening game against AS Roma where the Lilywhites eased to a 4-1 victory

Both sides will still be lacking their star players due to the Russia World Cup. However, new Barça signing Malcom could make his debut. 

The game will kick-off at 4:05 am (BST) on Sunday 27 July.  

Thin squads

For Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino has the same squad to choose from as he did for the Roma game with no players returning from their holidays due to an extended World Cup run. 

This will be Barça's first pre-season game in the ICC and much like Spurs they have a heavily depleted squad as a result of the World Cup. 

Ernesto Valverde will share the same frustration as Mauricio Pochettino with the large majority of Barcelona's key players still on a break. 

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic to name just a few have not joined the Blaugrana in the USA.

However, £37m signing Malcom has joined up with his new teammates following his sensational move from FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

The young Brazilian was reportedly on Pochettino's shortlist for more than a year but joined the La Liga champions after agreeing to join AS Roma earlier in the week. 

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Poch urges fringe players to step up

Following the Russia World Cup, Tottenham remain without nine of their regular starters.

Boss, Mauricio Pochettino has urged the players who have joined the pre-season tour to fight for their place in the starting XI:

“The pre-season is a little bit different to before because of the World Cup and we’ve got so many players away,” Pochettino said.

“But it’s a massive opportunity for them to fight for a place in the starting XI."

Pochettino also commented on the issue of Heung-min Son missing a number of games over August and September due to international duty:

“I cannot change the reality [about Son] and I’m not going to cry. We miss a lot of players due to the World Cup and we need to adapt."

"Of course, Son is a very important player for us but I cannot change the reality even if it is hurting us,” the 46-year-old added.