PREVIEW: Barça v Sevilla
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FC Barcelona host Sevilla on Sunday night at 9.00pm CEST as they look to continue their perfect start to La Liga 2020/21, with six points out of six and seven goals scored to no reply. This will be a tough test against another team that has begun the championship in strong form, and who have one particularly familiar face in their ranks.
The team from the Andalusian capital have never enjoyed more success than they have in the last decade and a half. Between 2006 and 2020 they have amassed a record six UEFA Cup/Europa League titles, beating Inter Milan in last season’s final. But in that time they have yet to add to their single Liga title won way back in 1946.
Last season they finished fourth in La Liga, meaning they went into this week’s Champions League group stage draw. Like Barça, they have started the league with back-to-back wins, 3-1 at newly promoted Cádiz and 1-0 at home to Levante midweek.
But they failed to in their bid to win the European Super Cup, losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich in Budapest with Javi Matrinez grabbing the winner in extra time.
Sevilla have bolstered their squad this year with the signings of Suso (Inter Milan), Oscar Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Yassine Bounou (Girona) and Marcos Acuña (Sporting Lisbon), as well as Ivan Rakitic, of course, who after six years at Camp Nou is now back at the club where he played from 2011–2014.
Rakitic is back playing alongside another familiar face for Barça fans, striker Munir El Haddadi, while Ronald Koeman played in the same Dream Team squad as his rival coach today, former goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui.
Head to head
Last five meetings
19/06/20 (LIGA): Sevilla 0-0 FC Barcelona
06/10/19 (LIGA): FC Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla
23/02/19 (LIGA): Sevilla 2-4 FC Barcelona
30/01/19 (COPA): FC Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla
23/01/19 (COPA): Sevilla 2-0 FC Barcelona
Counting league and cup ties, Barça have won their last eleven games with Sevilla at Camp Nou, and both home and away have only lost one of their last 26 league games against them. That’s quite some record against what has been regarded as one of Europe’s strongest teams in recent years.
Sevilla have not won a game at the Camp Nou since way back in 2002. Apart from that, the best they have managed away to Barça this century have been a couple of draws.
Barça won this fixture 4-0 last term, with goals from Suárez, Vidal, Dembélé and Messi, and in their last three visits to Camp Nou, Sevilla have leaked almost five goals a game, included a 6-1 annihilation in the Copa del Rey two seasons ago.
Did you know?
Sevilla are unbeaten in eight away games in La Liga and if they can extend that run at Camp Nou it will equal the club record in the competition.
Leo Messi has more goals against Sevilla than any other club (37 in all competitions).
Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui was red carded against Levante midweek and as a result will not be sitting on the bench on Sunday evening.
Ansu Fati needs to score two goals before the end of the month to set a new record for league goals scored by a player under the age of 18.
New signing, Sergiño Dest, makes the 23-man squad and is joined by; Piqué, Sergio, Aleñá, Griezmann, Pjanic, Messi, O. Dembélé, Neto, Coutinho, Pedri, Trincao, Jordi Alba, Braithwaite, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Ansu Fati, Iñaki Peña, Riqui Puig, Konrad, R. Araujo, Ramos Mingo and Arnau Tenas.
Ter Stegen, Umtiti, Junior Firpo and Matheus are injured, while Lenglet will miss the match due to suspension.
"Sevilla will be a difficult game against an ambitious team but playing at home we have everything in our favour. It is important to play the best teams to find out where we really are right now.”
“We had an easy first half against Villarreal and won that game. Celta was harder and Sevilla will put up a very strong fight. It’ll be an interesting game but we’re confident.”
“The two positions where we could really do with another player are centre forward and centre back.”
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