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The 2-0 win at the Sánchez Pizjuán has set Barça up perfectly for the first official title of the season, the Spanish Super Cup, and the only major trophy that Luis Enrique has yet to win since taking over as manager. Second half goals from Luis Suárez and Munir mean that the Catalans are very much in the driving seat going into this season’s first competitive game at the Camp Nou.
Before La Liga has even started, Barça have three injuries to work around. With goalkeeper Ter Stegen already side-lined, both Jeremy Mathieu (hamstring) and Andrés Iniesta (knee) failed to complete the first half in Seville and will be missing for the return leg, while Brazilians Neymar Jr and Rafinha are still away competing for the their country at the Rio Olympics.
The squad of 18 was announced on the morning of the match and is as follows: Bravo, Masip, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Samper, Munir, J Alba, Digne, S Roberto, André Gomes, Aleix Vidal and Umtiti.
New injuries to centre-back Adil Rami and left-back Sergio Escudero have done nothing to aid Sevilla with their problems in defence. It means that no fewer than four members of their reserve team have been included in the travelling party.
Although he was quizzed about various rumours, Luis Enrique insisted in his pre-match press conference that the only thing he wants to talk about right now is Wednesday’s game. “I was very pleased with the first leg” he said. “Because it was their stadium, they wanted to come at us but hardly caused us any damage at all … And I expect more of the same tomorrow. Big teams don’t change their way of playing. The result has left them in a tricky situation but the tie could come alive again at any moment. So we have to make sure we hit them first.”
“We know we have problems in defence but that takes nothing away from our desire to cause damage at the Camp Nou” says Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli. “The idea is to change some things. The game with Barcelona was intense and we’re going to switch some players. We know what a difficult stage and opponent we’re up against, but I wouldn’t call this fixture an inconvenience. We still have a chance.”
After winning three of their four preseason friendlies, the Super Cup first leg on Sunday night was the first official outing of the season for FC Barcelona. But for Sevilla the game came just a few days after losing 3-2 to Real Madrid after extra time in the European Super Cup match played in Norway.
The last time Sevilla won at the Camp Nou was a 2-1 victory in the Copa del Rey in 2010. But not even a repeat of that result on Wednesday would be enough for them to get their hands on the Super Cup trophy. They need to win by two goals and that hasn’t happened at the Barça stadium since a 3-0 triumph in a Liga fixture way back in 2002.
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