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Sevilla v FC Barcelona is a meeting of the two oldest clubs in La Liga. Founded in 1899, Barça was for many years deemed to be the older 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.
The club shares a rivalry with Real Betis, which is traditionally viewed to be more representative of the ‘working classes’ in the fourth largest city in Spain and the biggest in the southernmost region of Andalusia.
Sevilla have only won La Liga once, and that was way back in 1946, and the last decade or so, with a record five UEFA Cups/UEFA Europa Leagues (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016) has been their most successful period ever.
HEAD TO HEAD
When Barça lost 2-0 at the Sánchez Pizjuán in the Copa del Rey last year, it was only their second defeat to Sevilla in the last 28 meetings across all competitions. Of course, we more than made amends for that loss by winning the return leg 6-1.
Both the Liga games last season ended in 4-2 wins for Barça. We won the home fixture in with goals from Philippe Coutinho, Leo Messi, Luis Suárez and Ivan Rakitic, while a Messi hat-trick and fourth from Suárez did the business at the Sánchez Pizjuán.
Sevilla were the early frontrunners in La Liga, but defeats to Real Madrid (home) and Eibar (away) saw them slump from first to seventh. They got back on track last weekend by beating Real Sociedad, and currently have 13 points, the same as Barça.
They’re also competing in the Europa League, and began their campaign with a 3-0 win at Qarabağ in Azerbaijan. They followed that up with a victory at home against Cypriot side APOEL on Wednesday night, to top Group A. Also in their group are F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg.
OFF TO THE USA
It’s unusual for a Liga team to go on a US Tour midseason, but Sevilla are doing it not once but twice. While the internationals are off playing for their countries, the rest of the Sevilla squad will be playing Mexican sides UNAM and America in October (San Jose and San Francisco) and Monterrey and Chivas in November (Houston and Dallas).
Most capped internationals: Javier Hernández (Mexico, 109), Éver Banega (Argentina, 65), Jesús Navas (Spain, 39), Tomáš Vaclík (Czech Rep, 27), Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia, 22), Luuk de Jong (Holland, 20)
Players with a Barça past: Catalan centre back Sergi Gómez made his senior debut playing for Barça against Sevilla in the 2010 Super Cup. Forward Nolito was also used by Pep Guardiola that season, but both players are now plying their trade at the Sánchez Pizjuán. Munir El Haddadi swapped blaugrana for all-white during the winter transfer window two seasons ago.
New faces: Sevilla made a massive sixteen signings in the close season, forking out the biggest fees for Portuguese winger Rony Lopes (Monaco), French centre back Jules Koundé (Bordeaux). Israeli striker Moanes Dabour (Salzburg), Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos (Marseille) and Brazilian centre back Diego Carlos (Nantes). However, the most familiar of the new faces to most will be much travelled Mexican Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, ñast seen at West Ham.
Julen Lopetegui was a goalkeeper at Barça from 1994 to 1997, but only made five official appearances. After several years working with Spanish international youth teams, he became national manager in 2016 before being dismissed in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup after announcing he was taking the Real Madrid job.
Following Barça’s 5-1 win over Madrid, he was removed from his position, and began his new role at Sevilla at the start of the present season.
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