Eight names, eight exams for Barcelona in the United States

Neymar arrives as the focal point on the preseason tour but Barcelona have plenty of interesting storylines to watch in the preseason as they prepare for three Clasicos.

Eight names, eight exams for Barcelona in the United States

Barcelona travel to the United States on Wednesday as they get ready for the second phase of their preseason. They are looking to fine-tune their preperations to ready themselves for three Clasicos to start the season. There are eight storylines within one big storyline to keep an eye on.

Ernesto Valverde: The new manager has arrived after Luis Enrique's three years at the helm and the players have taken to the former Athletic Bilbao manager. it will be interesting to see what formation he plays and who he gives minutes to in the preseason as he is welcomed to the club with a trio of Clasicos to look forward to.

Denis Suárez: The central midfielder cut his holidays short to join the team from the start as he shows he means business about being a success at the club. In what will be his second season at the club, he simply can not fail. His first year was beset with irregular minutes and a lack of consistency but he needs to convince Valverde early that he is worth the time. 

Arda Turan: The Turkish attacking midfielder suffered in his first full season as a Barcelona player. After an intriguing start, he was put down as a player who was transferable but no offers materialised. The Chinese Super League or the Premier League were interested but that interest has apparently waned. What can he do in preseason to convince? That remains to be seen.

Andres Iniesta: Still waiting for a contract renewal from Barcelona, Velverde still expects the very best of a player who makes the team tick every time he plays. He suffered last season with an injury against Valencia early on and failed to return to his physical capacity. Iniesta's minutes and fitness in the preseason are key to a good start, which could mean a better finish, to last season.

Neymar: With all the rumours of a possible departure, Neymar finished his holidays in Ibiza and flew out with his teammates to the United States and the club expect the very best version of the Brazilian despite the speculation.

Jasper cillessen: The absence of Marc Andre Ter Stegen means the dutch keeper has a chance. He played very little last season and if he wants to put up a fight for the number one spot on Valverde's teamsheet, he has to take the opportunity presented to him during the preseason. He will play against Juventus, Manchester United and in El Clasico.

Nelson Semedo: The 23-year-old arrived from Benfica just a week ago and is ready to incorporate himself into the first team squad in the United States. His time on the field during preseason and during the league will depend on several other things ahead of him and whether fitness and form befall on the likes of Piqué and Samuel Umtiti. We should get a good chance to see him at some stage in the US.

Marlon: This is his second preseason with Barcelona's first team and he has emerged as a serious candidate to play more minutes next season. He will play with Barca's B team but could spring a surprise with a good performance in the United States.

LaLiga Santander

Table PTS W D L
1Real Madrid 93 29 6 3
2Barcelona 90 28 6 4
3Atlético 78 23 9 6
Full standing


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*Update 19 de julio de 2017