After being held to a goalless draw in Greece, Barcelona will look to get back to winning ways when they host Sevilla at the Nou Camp in La Liga.
For the first time since the 2-0 loss to Real Madrid in the Supercopa second leg in August, Barcelona were prevented from getting on the scoresheet, against Olympiacos. Sevilla on the hand, are coming off a 2-1 win against Spartak Moscow at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
In the Spanish top flight, Barcelona have a comfortable 4 point lead at the top of the table and are unbeaten this season so far, while Sevilla are 9 points behind them in 5th place, having only won 2 of their last 5 games in the League.
Team News & Tactics
Ousmane Dembele, Arda Turan, Rafinha, Andre Gomes and Sergi Roberto are all expected to miss out the tie due to injury. Andres Iniesta trained with the side after being left out of their match against Olympiacos, so he will likely be brought back in the starting XI for this big match.
Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo are expected to retain their places in the squad and Gerard Pique is expected to come back into the squad in place of Javier Mascherano. Should Jordi Alba be rested, Lucas Digne is the obvious choice to fill in for the Spaniard.
Paulinho and Sergio Busquets are expected to hold on to their places, while Rakitic is an option as well. Gerard Deulofeu will likely be brought back into the squad ahead of Denis Suarez to partner Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez upfront.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Marc Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Paulinho; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Deulofeu
Daniel Carrico, Nico Pareja, Gabriel Mercado and Joaquin Correa are all expected to miss this tie. Eduardo Berizzo is expected to field the same starting XI, except Mercado, who picked up an injury in their 2-1 victory against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.
In the 4-2-3-1 formation, Sergio Rico will likely retain his place in goal. Sergio Escudero, Clement Lenglet, Simon Kjaer and Sebastien Corchia are expected to start in defence, while Guido Pizarro and Steven N’zonzi are expected to start as defensive midfielders.
Nolito, Ever Banega and Pablo Sarabia are all expected to be a part of the attack, while Wissam Ben Yedder will most likely lead the line. Jesus Navas is also expected to feature again in some capacity, but mostly off the bench to add a burst of pace in the later stages.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sergio Rico; Sebastien Corchia, Simon Kjaer, Clement Lenglet, Sergio Escudero; Steven N’zonzi, Guido Pizarro; Pablo Sarabia, Ever Banega, Nolito; Wissam Ben Yedder
- In his 19 La Liga games as manager against Sevilla, Ernesto Valverde has won 8, drawn 1 and lost 10 games..
- Sevilla’s have won only 3 of their 9 away games across all competitions this season.
- Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 29 goals in 30 matches against Sevilla across all competitions.
- With just 11 League goals to their name this season, Sevilla have netted the fewest number of goals of any side in the top 5 going into this weekend.
- Should Lionel Messi start, this will be his 600th game for Barcelona in all competitions.
Barcelona 3-1 Sevilla
The Blaugrana were stopped from scoring for the first this time season against Olympiacos, whose inspired defending saw them restrict Barcelona to a 0-0 draw. The Catalan giants will be desperate to get back to winning ways and will look to take no prisoners against Sevilla.
Given Sevilla’s terrible away form this season and Barcelona’s current form, it is difficult to see the Andalusians come away with all three points or anything at all from this match, especially since the goalless draw during midweek will be fresh in the minds of the players.
We predict a 3-1 victory for the deposed Champions, not a comfortable one however. Barcelona will bear the brunt of the pressure going into this match, while Eduardo Berizzo’s men will be buoyed by their 2-1 victory against Spartak Moscow and will be confident that they can try and come away with a result from the Camp Nou.