The new Premier League season has begun, and defending champions Manchester City are off to a strong start in their bid for a third consecutive title.
Pep Guardiola’s team defeated West Ham 2-0 away from home in their first game of the season before thrashing Bournemouth 4-0 at the Etihad on Saturday.
City will play Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday before traveling to Catalonia for a friendly against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
Barcelona announced the match in June at a press conference attended by former manager Pep Guardiola and current club president Joan Laporta.
They were joined by Juan Carlos Unzue, the club’s former goalkeeper and coach, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) two years ago.
The match’s proceeds will be donated to Fundacion Luzon, an ALS research charity.
Guardiola said at the time, “This is an honor for us.”
“We’d like to thank Barca for inviting us to this fantastic venue.” We will explain to our players why this is so important.
“It’s admirable, as Unzue’s words demonstrate. I am delighted to be here. Barcelona has once again demonstrated why we are the best.”
While the reasons for the unusual fixture are undeniably noble, the decision to hold it three weeks into the new Premier League season – and just three days before the club’s next home game against Crystal Palace – has raised a few eyebrows among fans.
“Why is Man City playing a friendly after the PL season starts?,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Despite the charity match’s close proximity to the Palace game, Guardiola has suggested he will field a strong team in Catalonia.
“We’re going to bring all the big guns, don’t worry,” Guardiola insisted at the press conference in June.
The match will kick-off at 2030 (BST) and is available to watch through Manchester City’s CITY+.