Alexis, Messi and Cesc / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

After beating Real Sociedad (5-1), Osasuna (1-2), Valencia (1-0), Getafe (1-4) and Granada (2-0), Barça now travel to Sevilla in search of what would equal their best ever start to the domestic championship. The win would also ensure that they stay at least eight points ahead of Real Madrid going into next week’s clásico, where FCB will have the distinct advantage of playing at the Camp Nou.

But the Sánchez Pizjuán won’t be easy place to visit. Sevilla have only conceded two goals in the whole tournament, and have just kept three straight clean sheets. They’re fifth in the table with eleven points. The side managed by former Madrid man Míchel has won both of its home games this term, against Getafe (2-1) and Real Madrid (1-0), and the players are relishing the chance to test themselves against the leaders. “We don’t give away points for free at the Nervión”, warned their manager on Friday.

History on FCB’s side

But Vilanova will no doubt be reminding his players that Barça have not lost away to Sevilla since the 2007/08 season, which was before Guardiola and Tito Vilanova took command of the first team. The latest run of results at the Sánchez Pizjuán (0-3, 2-3, 1-1 and 0-2) makes for impressive reading. But with players like Palop in goal and Negredo up front on such stunning form right now, the Andalusians are confident they can become the first side to take points off Barça this season.