Stuttering Barcelona host flying Sevilla: Match Preview

Pablo Machín takes his in-form Sevilla side to the Nou Camp to face a stuttering Barcelona on Saturday evening. Ernesto Valverde’s team are without a win in their last four La Liga games while Sevilla sat top of the table heading into the weekend’s fixtures.

 

Form Guide:

Barcelona last 5 La Liga games – W D L D D

Aside from a Champions League win at Wembley, the ‘blaugrana’ are on a dismal run of results by their standards. Their last league victory came against Real Sociedad in September and three points from a possible twelve have seen fans calling for Valverde’s head.

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Sevilla last 5 La Liga games – L W W W W

Three points against Celta Vigo at the Román Sánchez Pizjuán saw Sevilla go top of the league heading into the international break. The Andalusians have averaged over three goals a game since their last league defeat at the hands of Getafe in mid-September.

 

Head to Head:

Sevilla haven’t dealt out a defeat to Barcelona since 2015 with the Catalan club winning 9 out of the previous 10 meetings between the two. Barcelona were victors against Saturday’s opponents in last season’s Copa Del Rey final as well as 2-1 winners in the Super Cup in Morocco back in August.

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Sevilla haven’t won at the Nou Camp since 2002 when goals from Javier Casquero and Mariano Toedtli secured a 3-0 win over Louis Van Gaal’s side. A double from Paco Alcácer earned Barcelona all three points in this fixture last season.

 

Ones to Watch:

Wissam Ben Yedder found the net against Celta Vigo but his strike partnership with Andre Silva has seen the Portuguese forward notch seven times in his first eight outings in La Liga this season. Silva, who made the switch from Milan in the summer, also found the net for his country during the international break in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Poland.

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Luis Suarez has three goals in his last three games against Sevilla but hasn’t found the net since Barcelona’s last league win at Real Sociedad on the 15th of September. Ousmane Dembele was Barcelona’s match-winner in the Super Cup in August with a stunning strike as Sevilla were denied their first domestic trophy since 2010.

 

Managers’ Quotes:

Valverde – “Sevilla are a team on a good run. The game in the Super Cup is a reference point, but they can change the game and have more options now.”

Machín – “We arrive as leaders and we aim to be there at the final whistle; I never play for a draw and believe we can get a positive result no matter what stadium we are in.”

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