- Copy link
Barça have the chance to win their first official title of the 2015/16 campaign when they take on Europa League winners Sevilla on Tuesday night in Tbilisi (8.45pm CET) in the Final of the European Super Cup, just three days ahead of the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup Final against Athletic Bilbao.
Neymar’s illness and Alba’s and Douglas’ hamstring injuries rule the three Barça players out, alongside Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal who are both ineligible, but Luis Enrique has taken the whole squad, except for Neymar, to Georgia for the game. After a busy summer of signings, Sevilla’s main doubt is Italian striker Ciro Immobile, who is on loan from Borussia Dortmund and who suffered a broken nose in the pre-season friendly against Watford, whilst another new signing, N’Zonzi is out with a stomach bug.
Luis Enrique appeared before the press in the Dinamo Arena on Monday ahead of his side's record ninth appearance in the European Super Cup final. The Barça boss appeared excited about the immediate challenge that the game against Sevilla sets his team: “All competitions are difficult and after the game we will cast an eye over our performance. But for now, we are looking at the contest as a challenge to conquer. For us it is exciting playing in the Super Cup and we know we will have to play well to win."
His counterpart Unai Emery also appeared before the media also on Tuesday. The Sevilla boss played down the absence of Neymar for the blaugranes, but at the same time admitted his side were the underdogs: “The final is only for the few and tomorrow we want to take advantage of the chance to play against a great side. Barça are favourites but we have a chance and we will work hard to overcome them.”
Barça had a mixed pre-season in terms of results, though Luis Enrique insisted he was happy overall with the squad’s performances and there were many positives with the return of Leo Messi and Neymar in the 3-0 win over Roma in the Joan Gamper Trophy last week. Seville completed their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against AEK Athens at the weekend after a similarly mixed bag of results, including defeats to Brighton and Werder Bremen.
For the first time in the history of the competition, Tuesday’s game will be a repeat of a previous final after Sevilla beat Barça 3-0 in the 2006 edition in Monaco (a game in which Dani Alves – then at Sevilla – was named Man of the Match). The two also met in the 2010 Spanish Super Cup, with a 4-0 win at the Camp Nou giving Barça a 5-3 win on aggregate. In last season’s league games, Barça won 5-1 at the Camp Nou and were held to a 2-2 draw at the Sánchez Pijuan.
- Copy link