Sampdoria have a long history with Barcelona being the team that Barca beat in the 1992 European Cup final thanks that a spectacular Ronald Koeman free kick. Barca have faced Sampdoria twice in the Gamper Trophy twice recently in 1997 and 2012, winning the first encounter on penalties after a 2-2 draw and losing the second 1-0.
This Barcelona team however is an entirely different prospect to the team that they faced in those times and are undoubtedly one of the finest teams in Europe. What’s more following on that 4-0 humiliation by Liverpool at Wembley, the Blaugrana will no doubt be hungry to set things straight prior to their Spanish Super Cup first leg on Sunday. With a full squad finally to select from Luis Enrique’s side should be ready and raring to go for the annual curtain raiser.
Sampdoria meanwhile despite seeing no fewer than 8 departures from last season’s squad have shown defensive stability in their 2 games of note this pre-season against Chievo and Malaga and are yet to concede a goal.
Recent Head to Head:
Joan Gamper Trophy
Aug 2012 Barcelona 0 Sampdoria 1
Key Man Watch
Arda Turan: Time is running out for the Turkish playmaker to show that he belongs in this Barcelona team. With Rakitic, Iniesta and Andre Gomes all ready to play in this game, and Samper and Denis Suarez claiming their first team jerseys, he could find himself looking in at the first team from the stands if he doesn’t take his opportunities.
Ricky Alvarez: The Argentine play-maker promised much when he joined Inter for 13 million euros in 2011. He has not delivered on that promise and after a disappointing 3 years was sent to Sunderland before finally joining Sampdoria in December 2015. He would love to prove the doubters wrong and show that like many other players he was simply a late bloomer. The opportunity to do this starts at Barcelona in the Gamper.
Possible starting xi:
Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto; Mascherano; Mathieu; Digne; Denis; Busquets; Arda; Messi; Suarez; Munir
Prediction: The Last time these teams met Sampdoria won 1-0 after a second minute goal when Roberto Soriano scored a diving header from Pedro Obiang’s cross from the left flank. That 1-0 loss was the last loss Barcelona suffered in the Gamper, with the blaugrana having won the last three editions of the Trophy. Look for Barcelona to make amends for their horror show versus Liverpool . Barcelona 3 Sampdoria 0