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Barça and Sevilla meet on Sunday at 9pm CEST in the first game of the second half of the Liga season. Here's the lowdown on a team that didn't get off to the best of starts in La Liga 2022/23.
WHERE ARE THEY FROM?
The magnificent city of Seville is the capital of the most southernmost province on the European mainland, Andalusia. It is home to the world famous Alcázar palace, and very much typifies the ‘real’ Spain of flamenco, bullfighting and very hot temperatures.
FC Barcelona v Sevilla is a meeting of two of the oldest clubs in La Liga. Founded in 1899, Barça was for many years deemed to be the more senior of the two, but UEFA and FIFA have recently endorsed the claim that the Sevilla Football Club officially registered in 1905 was, for all effects and purposes, a continuation of the club of the same name set up by British expatriates in 1890.
Sevilla have only won La Liga once, and that was way back in 1946, and the last decade or so, with a record six UEFA Cups/Europa Leagues (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020) has been their most successful period ever.
HEAD TO HEAD
Considering the Sevilla of recent years is one of the strongest ever, Barça have had some extraordinarily good results against them.
They have only lost three times to the Andalusians in their last 36 meetings across all competitions.
In La Liga, Barça have now gone for 14 games without losing to Sevilla either at home or away, although three of the last six meetings have ended in draws. Earlier this season, Barça won 3-0 at the Sanchez Pizjuan, with goals from Raphinha, Lewandowski and Eric Garcia.
Last ten meetings:
03/09/22 (LIGA) Sevilla 0 Barça 3 (Raphinha, Lewandowski, E Garcia)
03/04/22 (LIGA) Barça 1 (Pedri) Sevilla 0
21/12/21 (LIGA) Sevilla 1 Barça 1 (Araujo)
03/03/21 (C DEL REY) Barça 3 (Dembélé, Piqué, Braithwaite) Sevilla 0
27/02/21 (LIGA) Sevilla 0 Barça 2 (Dembélé, Messi)
10/02/21 (C DEL REY) Sevilla 2 Barça 0
04/10/20 (LIGA) Barça 1 (Coutinho) Sevilla 1
19/06/20 (LIGA) Sevilla 0 Barça 0
06/10/19 (LIGA) Barça 4 (Suárez, Vidal, Dembélé, Messi) Sevilla 0
23/02/19 (LIGA) Sevilla 2 Barça 4 (Messi 3, Suárez)
30/01/19 (C DEL REY) Barça 6 (Coutinho 2, Rakitic, S Roberto, Suárez, Messi) Sevilla 1
After finishing fourth last season, 2022/23 got off to a disastrous start for Sevilla, who only won two of their first fifteen matches, leaving them in the unfamiliar environment of the relegation zone. But after a big improvement, winning three of their four games January, they have climbed up to thirteenth.
Their Champions League campaign was a big let-down too. They never really looked like challenging Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund for the top two spots, but did at least manage to finish above Copenhagen to earn a place in the Europa League, which has been such a happy hunting ground for them in recent years. They'll be playing PSV Eindhoven in the playoff round.
Most capped internationals
Ivan Rakitić (Croatia, 106), Jesus Corona (Mexico, 71), Jesús Navas (Spain, 46), Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia, 51), Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco, 57), Marcos Acuña (Argentina, 49), Yassine Bounou (Morocco, 52), Erik Lamela (Argentina, 25), Marko Dmitrović (Serbia, 19), Gonzalo Montiel (Argentina, 22), Papu Gomez (Argentina, 17), Pape Gueye (Senegal, 15), Alex Telles (Brazil, 10), Lucas Ocampos (Argentina, 10)
Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić (pictured above) requires no introduction after making 200 appearances and winning a wealth of trophies at Barça. After six seasons at Camp Nou, he returned to his former club.
Striker Rafa Mir spent two seasons at La Masia as a youngster, but it was at Valencia where he turned pro and at Huesca where he made his name before joining Sevilla in 2021. He's currently the joint top goalscorer in the team.
Top scorers 2021/22 (All competitions)
Erik Lamela (4), Rafa Mir (4), Oliver Torres (3)
Jorge Sampaoli's playing career was cut short by injury at an early age, but the Argentinian went on to gain an excellent reputation as a coach in several South American countries, and especially in Chile, where he ended up managing the national team. He was snapped up by Sevilla in 2016 but after one year he left to take the Argentina job. After stints at Santos and Marseilles, he returned to Sevilla as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui at the start of this season.
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