The Gunners face a mouth-watering pre-season friendly in Los Angeles tonight as they take on the Catalan giants in their fourth summer test. Arsenal were beaten twice by Manchester United last time out – both in normal time and via a penalty shootout – but Mikel Arteta will not be concerned despite another huge transfer outlay.
Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, bought for a combined £170million, have been quiet in their early outings but Rice curiously isn’t involved at all tonight. Arsenal face a Barcelona side who are embarking on their first run-out of the summer and have been hit by an illness in the squad. Ilkay Gundogan will play his first minutes since signing from Manchester City and Oriol Romeu is making a second debut for the club.
Will Arsenal record a rare win over Barcelona? For Arteta it would be a statement result, against a former club, ahead of what is expected to be a massive season in north London. Follow the huge friendly live below via our dedicated match blog, covering every moment from the SoFi Stadium friendly.
Arsenal vs Barcelona
Here come the players at last at SoFi Stadium!
Got to say the pitch does not look good at all…
Arsenal vs Barcelona
15 minutes until kick-off now at the impressive SoFi Stadium.
Michael Bridge of Sky Sports says on Twitter that the issue of problems of grass laid over turf is what caused the delay to kick-off.
Declan Rice and Folarin Balogun are both missing from the Arsenal squad.
No word on Rice’s fitness, while Balogun’s future at the club continues to be uncertain.
Both are with the squad. Balogun has posted a video on his Instagram page at SoFi Stadium and Rice has been pictured with Mohamed Elneny and the injured Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arsenal team news
They took their time, but Arsenal have finally confirmed their starting line-up.
Trossard shakes off an injury to start, which is fantastic news for the Gunners, while Timber and White take up the full-back slots.
It’s a midfield of Partey, Havertz and Odegaard.
Any team news hints in this photo?
Not sure what Arsenal’s social media team are doing but Arteta is chatting to Xavi.
The game has been pushed back by 36 minutes. No explanation as to why, though that may explain why Arsenal are yet to confirm their team.
Still no team news from Arsenal. Trust Mikel Arteta to play mind games in a friendly.
Barcelona team news
So, Ilkay Gundogan does get to make his debut, against a team who tried to sign him this summer.
Oriol Romeo makes his second debut for the club, while ex-Chelsea pair Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen are in defence.