It's time for another week of La Liga football and, once again, time for FC Barcelona to face a tough rival. This Saturday the Catalans head south to Seville where they'll visit Sevilla FC at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Kick-off is set for 4.00pm CET.
The difficulty of facing Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán isn't just perceived; the numbers do all the talking. In 71 all-time league games there, Barça have a record of 22 wins, 29 losses and 20 draws, despite having harvested favourable results in the last eight seasons.
In fact, Barça haven't lost at the Pizjuán in league play since the 2006-07 season when a Sevilla team, then coached by Juande Ramos, triumphed over a Barça squad coached then by Frank Rijkaard. Barça went ahead that day with a goal from Ronaldinho after 13 minutes. Despite the fact that Sevilla's Aitor Ocio was sent off on 27 minutes, somehow Aleksandr Kerzhakov was able to tie the game in the 38th. After the break, in the 60th minute, Dani Alves, who was still with Sevilla, scored the eventual game-winner. Barça's Ludovic Giuly and Gianluca Zambrotta were both later sent off thus essentially denying Barça a chance at a happy ending.
Ever since then, however, Barça have chalked up 18 points in their last eight visits to Sevilla from five wins, three draws and zero defeats:
During that period FC Barcelona scored 19 times while conceding just nine. In Barça's last eight league clashes at the Sánchez Pizjuán, Lionel Messi had a team-high 7 goals. Nevertheless, the injured Messi will not be in the lineup on Saturday and the slack will have to be taken up by somebody. Of all the other Barça players besides Messi who scored in the last eight games at Sevilla, just one is on the current squad — Neymar. He scored in last season's 2–2 draw. Here is the full list: