Live broadcast of Barcelona vs. Viktoria Plzen: how to watch the Champions League while Jules Kounde aims to shine

Barcelona’s aging defense was in need of a major overhaul in the offseason, something that was complicated to do with the team needing to offload players due to financial issues. But despite their problems, Barcelona managed to get a lot of talent thanks to some creative financial management, adding talent everywhere on the pitch. Robert Lewandowski might have been the biggest name, the one who grabbed the most headlines and is sure to make noise in front of goal, but at the other end of the pitch, signing Jules Kounde as Sevilla’s central defender has instantly paid off. .

The French defender, who joined for $55m, had to wait until August 28 to make his La Liga debut with the club. He arrived two full weeks after the season began as the club struggled to comply with La Liga’s financial rules to register him. Since then, Kounde has made two appearances for Barca, both with dominant wins. A 4–0 victory over Real Valladolid saw him go the full 90 minutes, completing 93.1% of his passes and creating two assists. In defense he won 75% of his duels, 100% of his aerial challenges and recovered the ball five times. Then this past weekend, against his old club, all he did was recover the ball six times and record two assists.

He has been so impressive starting out that coach Xavi has praised him highly. “When we talk about Kounde, we talk about a player who can mark an era at Barça”, said Xavi after the victory against Sevilla. “He can do everything, play from behind, he has personality, leadership, he can play any defensive position. We have made a great signing”.

Koundé could start on Wednesday when Barca open their Champions League campaign against Victoria Plzen, a team that is expected to win easily at home. Kounde spoke to the press before the match and said that the reason he is involved in the sport is for games like these.

“We know we have a great chance to qualify from the group. But it will be very competitive and difficult because there are some good teams,” Kounde said. “But I am excited. I play soccer for games like these.

“We have a great squad, with a lot of talent and we can create a lot of danger. Surely many teams look at us and take us seriously. But the squad can progress even more with the ideas that Xavi is transmitting. There is quality and we want to compete strongly in this Champions League”.

Kounde may be a natural center back, but he also has the ability to play right back. That versatility will be welcomed by a team that shed an unreliable Sergino Dest but brought in Hector Bellerin before he closed the transfer window.

So far, he’s been seen as a fantastic signing that adds instant credibility to a sometimes flawed backline. But if these first few minutes are any sign of things to come, Barca could very well end up as UCL contenders much sooner than expected.

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Wednesday, September 7 | Weather: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Camp Nou – Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Live broadcast: Paramount+
  • Odds: Barcelona-1600; Draw +1100; Viktoria +3600 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

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