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Alexis at the Sánchez Pizjuán / PHOTO: Miguel Ruiz - FCB

PREVIOUS MEETING IN LA LIGA

FC Barcelona visited the Sánchez Pizjuán on September 30th of 2012 to face Sevilla FC for week 6 of La Liga. The Andalusians found the back of the net twice thanks to strikes from Trochowski and Negredo before the first 45 minutes were up. In the second half, Cesc rallied the Blaugrana with two goals to bring Barça level on 88 minutes. It looked as though both teams were going to come away with a point until David Villa’s last-gasp effort fired Barça ahead on 92 minutes.

FORM GUIDE

Sevilla are 10th on 32 points from 24 matches, just 5 points adrift of the coveted spots that give direct access to European play next season. Of their last five league meetings, Sevilla have won three, tied one and lost one. The Andalusians defeated Deportivo (3-1), Rayo Vallecano (2-1) and Granada (3-0), drew with Getafe (1-1) and lost away to Real Madrid (4-1).

While Sevilla’s league title hopes have faded, they certainly aren’t out of the hunt for silverware. Unai Emery’s men are on the other side of the Copa del Rey bracket from FC Barcelona. They are currently down 2-1 to Atlético Madrid after the away leg at the Vicente Calderón, but they managed to grab an all-important away goal. As most teams know, losing at the Sánchez Pizjuán by one goal is a fate any team can easily succumb to.

ONES TO WATCH

Even though Sevilla are 10th in the table, Emery has a squad that’s full of talented players that can change the course of any match. While many would rightfully single out Álvaro Negredo, Jesús Navas or José Antonio Reyes as Sevilla’s most dangerous men, today we’re going to focus on Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatian joined Sevilla in the summer of 2011 from Schalke 04. He’s netted five goals and given seven assists in his 20 league appearances for the Andalusian side this season. To put things in perspective, he’s been directly involved in nearly 40% of all of Sevilla’s goals in the domestic competition. When asked about this Saturday’s clash with FC Barcelona he warned: “We know it will be very, very difficult, but we want to play a good game, we want to win and we’ll do everything we can to get a good result. We’re going to leave it all on the pitch.”

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