What: Spanish La Liga
Who: Barcelona vs Sevilla
When: Saturday 14th September, 2013, at 19:00 UK Time
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

Good Signs

Realising that they can put pressure on Real Madrid who play straight after their game ends, Barcelona will be looking for all the spoils when they meet Andalucian side Sevilla at the Camp Nou. The league champions have won all three of their league games so far and are in good form. Facing an adversary against whom they have enjoyed success in recent years, Gerardo Martino will be looking to continue the winning record that his predecessor Tito Vilanova established last term.

Barcelona have won their last 16 home league games, but club full-back Adriano believes that they will be in for a close battle when the Blaugrana face his former side. “It’ll be a tight game and won’t be too different from many of the others we’ve had on many occasions”, declared the Brazilian.

Also, the club may be in for a surprise as skipper Carles Puyol may complete his much-anticipated return from injury against Sevilla. Out of action since last March, the veteran defender will form a much-welcomed addition to a team whose defensive holes have been well documented.

Poor on the Road

Sevilla’s season could not have got off to a worse start, as the Andalucians have suffered two draws and a loss so far in the league. With no Alvaro Negredo to spearhead the attack and without the threat of Jesus Navas on the wings – both having transferred to Manchester City this past summer – the Rojiblancos are missing two who were their most important men. Against a team of Barcelona’s calibre, they are expected to have a hard time.

Sevilla have not won in their last six encounters against the Blaugrana. What is more alarming for the side is the fact that they are winless in 17 away league games, making their task at the Camp Nou a difficult one.

“It [the Camp Nou] is one of the most difficult stadiums in the league for rivals and players”, commented Sevilla man Jairo Samperio. “We cannot overtake Barcelona in terms of possession. We will have to be very awake and hurt them on the counter-attack, which is their weakness, if any.”

However, Sevilla have conceded at least two goals in five of their last six La Liga games. Having one of the worst defensive records so far this league season, their backs will be against the wall when they meet Martino’s men.


Recent form

Malaga 0-1 Barcelona (25/08; La Liga)
Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid (28/08; Super Cup)
Valencia 2-3 Barcelona (01/09; La Liga)

Levante 0-0 Sevilla (25/08; La Liga)
Slask Wroclaw 0-5 Sevilla (29/08; Europa League)
Sevilla 2-2 Malaga (01/09; La Liga)

Key absences

Barcelona: Ibrahim Afellay; Isaac Cuenca; Carles Puyol (doubt)

Sevilla: Federico Fazio; Nicolas Pareja; Daniel Carrico; Cicinho; Jose Antonio Reyes

Players to watch

Barcelona – Lionel Messi: Having scored twice against Paraguay with Argentina, Messi will be looking to keep the goals flowing. A hat-trick against Valencia in his last league game with Barcelona was his first of undoubtedly more to come this season.

Sevilla – Marko Marin: Largely a fringe player with Chelsea, Marin will want to reinvent himself now at Sevilla, after being lauded at one point as the German Messi. There is no denying that Marin has talent, but he will need to showcase it.

Match Prediction

Sevilla’s numbers ahead of this match are horrific, while Barcelona seem to be enjoying themselves lately. At the Camp Nou, the four-time Champions League winners rarely fail to impress, and will want to continue their winning path against Sevilla. Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla.

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