FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC will be battling each other today on what could be a mesmerizing game of football – the Final of the Prestigious Copa Del Rey.
FC Barcelona is returning to an action-packed do or die game, after a shock defeat at the Stadio Olimpico last week which knocked the Catalans out of the champions league this season. Having secured a 4-1 lead at the Camp Nou they looked certain to progress to the semis, only to be knocked out by the Giallorossi at the next leg at Italy.
Barcelona then went back to their regular routine at the La Liga. They won the game against Valencia and were then held on to a draw by Celta Vigo, where Ernesto Valverde rested the usual starters so as they could be refreshed for the big battle coming up.
Sevilla FC on the other hand, Are not having a good time. They have not seen a victory ever since they lost against Bayern Munich in the champions league. Having lost against Celta Vigo by a huge margin of 4-0, they then drew against Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna.
However, Sevilla is known for giving a hard time to Barca whenever both of these teams meet. When they last met at the beginning of this month, They were looking to win the game with a two-goal lead that was alive until the 86th minute. The late entry of Leo Messi on the pitch changed their fate when both he and Suarez clawed them down to a draw.
Now that the battle bells are ringing, Let’s take a look at what’s going on between the two teams.
Team News & Tactics
Sevilla FC is probably looking for changes from their usual starting eleven. Simon Kjaer, One of the team’s integral member, has been suffering from a hamstring injury but is most likely to return to his boots today as various sources suggest. Other option that Montella will have in place for Kjaer will be Gabriel Mercado.
Sebastien Corchia, Picked up a Groin injury recently and it is highly doubtful if he returns to play for the Los Rojiblancos today.
Montella will most probably play Muriel as the main forward for today, as he is in a good form. Correa is also another option.
Sevilla might use 4-2-3-1 formation for today.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) : Soria; Navas, Mercado, Lenglet, Escudero; Banega, N’Zonzi; Sarabia, Vazquez, Nolito, Muriel.
Barcelona would be looking to seal the title for the fourth consecutive time as they are the favorites of the game due to the highly star-studded squad. Valverde rested the few essential first-team players for the last game so that they can be sufficiently energetic for the Copa Del Rey final.
Ivan Rakitic, who suffered a broken thumb during the game against Roma, has been given the green signal to play for the match. He underwent an operation last week for the same.
Sergi Samper, however, will not be able to play the game due to the serious injury that he picked up in January while he was at his loan club – Las Palmas.
Sergi Roberto received a red card in the last league game he played. He was sent off for pulling back a player. By the intensity level, it is highly unlikely that he would miss the match.
Chances are very low of Dembele starting the game, As Dembele has shown his tendency to lose the ball even though he paces up the Catalan attack. Valverde most probably would not rely on him in such an important game.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Cillessen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez
- Barcelona is the present champions of the Copa Del Rey. They are the champions for past 3 seasons.
- Sevilla has never won against Barcelona at the Camp Nou for the past 13 games.
- Barcelona has won 33 out of the last 35 CDR matches they played.
- Lionel Messi has scored the most goals against Sevilla, 30 goals in 32 appearances.
Players to Watch
Sevilla’s star defender of the season, Clement Lenglet, who arrived from Nancy last season, did not fail to impress the Andalusian outfit. He has an exceptional ability to track the movement of his opponents and keep them at bay. He defends very tightly and often doesn’t give space for the opposition to strike in.and make way for goal scoring chances.
His main aim would be to stop Leo Messi, who has an exceptional dribbling ability. A small chance given to Leo Messi might prove fatal for Sevilla. The absence of Sebastien Corchia forces him to step ahead and take up a huge challenge.
Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla
Sevilla will be a threat to Barcelona’s plan of laying their hands on another trophy this season, with the La Liga virtually secured. The Catalans almost saw themselves being beaten by their Saturday opponents recently, until a late comeback and Ernesto Valverde’s men have looked wobbly of late, uncharacteristic from them, especially with how the season was panning out.
Expect Sevilla to give Barcelona a run for their money. But, the magic of Messi & co. should prevail and we should see Barcelona secure a domestic double.