It is another clash of Sevilla and Barcelona. Both sides have squared off twice this season and Blaugrana is surprisingly unable to score a single goal in Sevilla’s net. No wonder that this match is one of the toughest games for Lionel Messi and Co. Such negative record even stretches to three matches since the emergence of covid-19. Julen Lopetegui’s side is ready to frustrate Barcelona again this weekend at their home turf, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Both teams’ previous games
Sevilla bounced back in La Liga after a defeat in Champions League. They crushed Osasuna 2-0 through Diego Carlos’s header and Luuk de Jong’s flick into the far side of the post. Such result even bumped their position in the standings above the Catalan side for the first time in many years.
In the midweek fixtures, Ronald Koeman’s men dismantled Elche 3-0. After failing to break the deadlock at the first half, the goals finally came at the second half starting from none but el capitan Messi himself. The Argentine bagged a brace plus contributed one key pass for Jordi Alba’s goal.
Julen Lopetegui will still be opting for 4-3-3, possibly with the transition to 4-3-1-2 to accommodate Papu Gomez’s potentials as the number 10 since Lucas Ocampos who excels at operating on both sides is injured along with his countryman Marcus Acuna. The frontmen role could be given to Youssef En-Neysiri and Munir El Haddadi instead of Suso who is more effective only for playing wide.
Ronald Koeman needs to consider deploying 3-4-2-1 again to overcrowd the backline and midfield and initiate a swift counter attack. The Dutch boss could use Dortmund’s tactics as a reference. Gerard Pique can be accompanied by Samuel Umtiti and Oscar Mingueza for the back three while in the midfield, Frankie de Jong and Sergio Busquets in the middle are supported by Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba. Meanwhile, Martin Braithwaite could get a nod for the targetman role in front of Messi and Pedri. The towering frontman is needed to break the focus of Diego Carlos and Jules Kunde in Sevilla’s defence so that Messi could have a space to score or create assists.
Players to watch
The Morrocan striker Youssef En-Nesyri is one of the vital figures of the team by contributing 13 goals in La Liga this season. Some other notable names to watch are the French defender Jules Kunde, Fernando Reges and the goalie Yassine Bounou.
The legend Lionel Messi is now leading el pichichi table with eighteen goals in domestic competition plus providing three assists. Another key man to watch is the Dutch international Frankie de Jong who has registered three goals and four assists.
Sevilla vs Barcelona Prediction
The encounter of Barcelona and Sevilla has never been as decisive as the ones this season. They are only separated by one point at the moment with one game in hand for the Andalusian side. It would be a tough call for Ronald Koeman’s men to pick up a win on the road unless he does modify his formation. A draw would be the fairest result here.
Neither side is the favourite. The home side is backed to win at 23/10, whereas the Catalan side’s odds to win are at 23/18. The draw result is at the value of at 45/17.