FC BARCELONA

v

SEVILLA FC

Camp Nou

October 22, 2011; 2000 hrs GMT

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Post the mid-week Champions League fixture, current leaders FC Barcelona take on Sevilla FC in La Liga in a potentially tricky match-up. The Andalucians visit the Camp Nou undefeated in the league and placed 4th.

Currently, Barcelona are one of three teams who are undefeated in the league with Levante and Sevilla being the others. With 17 points from 7 matches (5 wins and 2 draws), Barcelona have been on a goal-scoring rampage since the season started, having scored 26 goals. However, Sevilla, to their credit, have a defence that has been as stingy as the champions, conceding only 4 goals in 7 matches.

Team News and Tactical Brief

FC Barcelona

The Catalan side started where they left off last season and have in fact improved if the statistics were any indication. With 5 wins, 2 draws, 26 goals scored and only 4 goals conceded, Pep Guardiola and his all-conquering side are looking better than last season. Moreover, Barcelona’s home form is brilliant and the Blaugranas have made Camp Nou a fortress. So far, in La Liga, Barcelona have scored 21 goals and conceded none.

With Lionel Messi having the best start of the season in his career and Andres Iniesta back from injury and looking as fluid as ever, it would be safe to bet on another footballing lesson by the Catalans. Although the hamstring curse is still prevalent, with Gerard Pique being the latest in a long line of victims, the Azulgranas should be able to manage since Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves are fit and in form. Cesc Fabregas is expected to be given the green light and might be brought on as a substitute so that Xavi may get some well-deserved rest.

Since Barcelona are only a point ahead of their rivals, Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola and co. cannot afford to drop points at this juncture and definitely not at home. It will be difficult to guess at which formation Guardiola will opt for since he has been known to use the 3-4-3 at home, with great results. As a precautionary measure against Sevilla’s wingers, it can be assumed that Pep will choose to go for safety at the back and hence the 4-3-3 will be preferred.

Probable Starting Line-up: Victor Valdes(GK); Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Eric Abidal; Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta; Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, David Villa

Sevilla FC

Sevilla have had a great start to the season and have remained undefeated so far in the campaign. However, as the results have shown, their away form is shaky at best and the Andalucians are yet to win an away game this season. It is highly unlikely that Sevilla can get a favourable result in Camp Nou. Their main injury concerns are Argentinian winger Diego Perotti and in-form striker Alvaro Negredo.

Despite the injury loss, Sevilla is expected to defend deep and hope to create chances on the counter attack. Although the formation would be hard to guess, it ican be expected that Sevilla will play either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-5-1. Barcelona should be able to create multiple chances and will have to look out for the counter attack. Sevilla, on their part, will have to show discipline while defending and be efficient in attack if they are to avoid their first defeat of the season. Considering their opponents, Sevilla will probably be satisfied with a point.

Probable Starting Line-up: J.Varas; M.Caceres, E.Spahic, J.Escude, F.Navarro; G.Medel, P.Trochowski, J. Navas, Manu, E.Armenteros; F.Kanoute

TheHardTacklea��s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

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La Pulga

 

La Pulga has scored 16 goals in 12 official games and provided numerous assists as well. This is Messi’s best start to a season in his career and Sunday night may just be another million-hit-Leo-Messi youtube video waiting to happen.

TheHardTacklea��s PREDICTION

FC BARCELONA 3-0 SEVILLA FC

Last year, the same fixture ended with Barcelona scoring 5 goals with no reply from the Andalucians. Barcelona will have to defend well and hold on to possession so as to make sure that Kanoute and Jesus Navas don’t get on the score sheet but they should be able to edge out Sevilla (considering their dodgy away form). The Catalans will look to finish the game as early as possible and guarantee they stay top of the table for another week.

TheHardTacklea��s BLAST FROM THE PAST

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2 Responses to “Barcelona v Sevilla – Preview : Undefeated Sevilla Takes On Maginificent Barcelona”

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  1. Donna Van Oss says:

    Nice writeup!, while we were not magic and fire works in our last match ,we always seem 2 thrive and play inspired Football at Nou….I expect nothing less in this match….4/1 .Barca……

    • Inder says:

      Thanks..yea we weren’t at our best against plzen..but was still a comprehensive victory in terms of possesion and defense..