Thursday, October 21, 2021

Coutinho set to return for Barcelona in Joan Gamper Trophy showdown with Juventus

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Aug 2021

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Philippe Coutinho is set to make his long-awaited return from injury in Barcelona’s Joan Gamper Trophy showdown with Juventus on Sunday.

The Brazilian has been passed fit and could play his first football for Barca of 2021, having undergone two knee surgeries since the turn of the year.

The attacking midfielder last played for the Catalan giants in their 1-1 draw with Eibar at the Camp Nou in December.

Ronald Koeman has also named the likes of Memphis Depay, Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite in his 21-man party for the club’s annual season curtain raiser at Estadi Johan Cruyff.

However, Sergio Aguero and Clement Lenglet are missing for Barca, who begin their LaLiga campaign at home to Real Sociedad on August 15.

Aguero, who arrived from Manchester City on a free transfer, is set to undergo further tests on a right calf injury, while defender Lenglet has a tendon problem in his right knee.

Barca are seeking their ninth successive victory in the Joan Gamper Trophy, which they have won 43 times since the inaugural event in 1966.

Juventus, who launch their Serie A season away at Udinese on August 22, are one of the 11 teams to have denied the Blaugrana.

The Bianconeri prevailed on penalties in the 2005 showpiece.

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