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Barça round off a marathon run of seven games in just 21 days with a visit to the Sánchez Pizjuán to take on Sevilla, the blaugranes final game before the upcoming international break. A win could see Luis Enrique’s team return to the top of the table should leaders Villarreal fail to win away at Levante on Sunday.
Luis Enrique named an 18 man squad for the game in Andalusia following his team’s final training session on Friday ahead of the clash with Sevilla. The big news was the return to the list of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after his recovery from a calf problem which forced him to miss the blaugranes last six matches. Douglas and Jordi Alba both recently returned after injury but the Barça boss is still without the services of Andrés Iniesta, Leo Messi, Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha and Adriano. The full squad for the game against Sevilla is as follows: Ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Douglas, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Dani Alves, Suárez, Neymar, Mascherano, Bartra, Munir, Jordi Alba, Sandro, Sergi Roberto, Mathieu, Cámara and Gumbau.
The Barça coach is not the only one with injury worries as Sevilla coach Unai Emery is without Beto, Banega, Carriço, Escudero, Kakuta, Nico Pareja and Rami due to injury. The good news the Basque boss is that Vitolo and Llorente are back in the 19 man squad to face Barça after missing the defeat against Juventus in midweek in the Champions League squad.
Luis Enrique appeared on Friday in front of the press before his side’s final training session of the week. The Barça boss was adamant that his squad injury problems would not be an excuse ahead of the trip to Sevilla: “It’s a situation that comes about and it happens to all teams at some point.” The Barça boss added: “Over the season it is the squad that wins, even though we do have the best player in the world Leo Messi. I have the utmost confidence in my squad.”
Sevilla boss Unai Emery also made an appearance in front of the press on Friday and he echoed the words of his FC Barcelona counterpart: “There are players missing at every club every weekend and teams like Barça and Sevilla are made to overcome these absences.”
After their first defeat of the season against Celta Vigo in the league, Barça have bounced back with consecutive wins over Las Palmas in the league and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. Luis Suárez’s late winner on Tuesday at Camp Nou gave the blaugranes their first win in Europe this season and the Uruguayan is in great form having scored four goals in his last four games for Barça.
Sevilla have had a disappointing start to their season with just two wins to their name so far in all competitions. Unai Emery’s team have recorded a victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League and picked up three points in the league for the first time this season with a 3-2 home win over Rayo Vallecano. The Andalusians are languishing in 16th place in the table and are coming off the back of a 2-0 defeat in midweek in the Champions League against Juventus.
The sides have already met this season back at the beginning of August in Tbilisi where Barça claimed the European Super Cup thanks to a heart stopping 5-4 win in extra time over their La Liga rivals. Sevilla have not beaten Barça at home in the league since a 2-1 win back in 2007. Barça have won on three of their last four visits to the Sánchez Pizjuán, the only blot on their recent record came last season when Sevilla came back to draw 2-2 after Messi and Neymar had put the blaugranes 2-0 up.
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