After beating Nastik de Tarragona and Girona 3-1 in two preseason friendlies up to this point, Koeman realizes that LaLiga newcomers Elche may pose a different threat.

Miralem Pjanic will be in the starting squad against Elche

Ronald Koeman is set to take charge of his first Barcelona match at the Camp Nou on Saturday when they host Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy. After beating Nastik de Tarragona and Girona 3-1 in two preseason friendlies up to this point, Koeman realizes that LaLiga newcomers Elche may pose a different threat. “I hope everything goes well,” Koeman said during a pre-match press conference on Friday. “This is a special challenge for me to be at the Camp Nou for the last game before LaLiga. It’s a good match because it’s an opponent who plays in the first division. “It is a test at the physical and football level”. The Dutch coach then made it clear that Miralem Pjanic will be in the squad for the first time since joining Barcelona.

Koeman is happy with how the team has physically acts

“He’s not 100 percent playable from the start, but he might have a few minutes tomorrow.” There will be no fans at the Camp Nou to greet Koeman, which he admits is disappointing. “I think football has to be played with the audience,” He commented. “It’s a pity, but we accept the moment when we are all in. It’s special, but it would be very different with Barcelona fans”. Analyzing the preseason Barcelona as a whole, the coach is happy with how the team has physically acted. “We have been here for three weeks now, and I think the team and players have improved a lot in terms of physical appearance,” Koeman noted. The team also worked well on tactical issues. We saw good things in the last friendly against Girona, and hopefully, we will see a full match in the Gamper.”