PREVIEW: Sevilla vs FC Barcelona
Just three days after beating Elche 3-2, FC Barcelona are back in action on Tuesday night in the last match of 2021. And that’s huge. It’s the journey to the top flight Seville, which was postponed earlier this season due to the World Cup qualifying clash in the Conmebol area.
Barca come into this game in eighth place, but three less points from this game would make a big difference – potentially meaning the team could even advance to Champions League places. Three points currently separate the Catalans from fourth, Rayo Vallecano.
Seville form guide
However, the challenge is considerable. Sevilla are one of the fittest teams in the league. They are currently second in the standings and winning this match in hand would close the gap on the leaders. real Madrid just three points.
The Andalusians have lost just two games all season (for Grenade and real Madrid) and won only one match at SÃ¡nchez PizjuÃ¡n (2-2 draw with AlavÃ©s in November). In fact, only Inter Milan have a better home record in the top five European leagues this season.
Like FC Barcelona, ââthey failed to advance from the group stage of the Champions League (Lille and Red Bull Salzburg group G), and they will instead be faced with Dynamo Zagreb in the Europa League.
Last five matches
December 18 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 3-2 Elche
Dec 14 (MARADONA CUP) BarÃ§a 1-1 (p) Boca Juniors
12 Dec (LIGA) Osasuna 2-2 BarÃ§a
December 8 (UCL) Bayern Munich 3-0 BarÃ§a
Dec 4 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 0-1 The real Betis
December 18 (LIGA) Seville 2-1 AtlÃ©tico Madrid
15 Dec (COPA DEL REY) Andratx 1-1 (p) Seville
11 Dec (LIGA) Athletic 0-1 Seville
December 8 (UCL) RB Salzburg 1-0 Sevilla
December 4 (LIGA) Seville 1-0 Villareal
Considering Sevilla in recent years to be one of the strongest of all time, Barca have achieved extraordinarily good results against them. Incredibly, they have lost just one of their last 28 league games with them (2-1 win for Sevilla in 2015).
Last ten meetings:
03/03/21 (C DEL REY) BarÃ§a 3 (DembÃ©lÃ©, Pique, Braithwaite) Sevilla 0
02/27/21 (LIGA) Seville 0 BarÃ§a 2 (DembÃ©lÃ©, Messi)
02/10/21 (C DEL REY) Seville 2 BarÃ§a 0
04/10/20 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 1 (Coutinho) Sevilla 1
06/19/20 (LIGA) Sevilla 0 BarÃ§a 0
06/10/19 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 4 (SuÃ¡rez, Vidal, DembÃ©lÃ©, Messi) Sevilla 0
02/23/19 (LIGA) Sevilla 2 BarÃ§a 4 (Messi 3, SuÃ¡rez)
01/30/19 (C DEL REY) BarÃ§a 6 Coutinho 2, Rakitic, S Roberto, SuÃ¡rez, Messi) Sevilla 1
01/23/19 (C DEL REY) Seville 2 BarÃ§a 0
20/10/18 (LIGA) BarÃ§a 4 (Coutinho, Messi, SuÃ¡rez, Rakitic) Sevilla 2
The most capped internationals
Ivan RakitiÄ (Croatia, 106 years old), Thomas Delaney (Denmark, 65 years old) JesÃºs Navas (Spain, 46 years old), Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia, 44 years old), Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden, 42 years old), Youssef_En-Nesyri (Morocco, 39 years old), Marcos AcuÃ±a (Argentina, 39 years old), Yassine Bounou (Morocco, 33 years old), Eric Lamela (Argentina, 25 years old)
Relations with BarÃ§a
Croatian midfielder Ivan RakitiÄ (photo above) requires no introduction after making 200 appearances and winning numerous trophies at Barca. After six seasons at Camp Nou, he returned to his former club two years ago.
Spanish / Moroccan striker Munir El Haddadi (in photo below) was a Barca B graduate who made 22 appearances for the senior squad before trading blaugrana for all-white in 2019 following loans at Valencia and AlavÃ©s.
spanish striker Rafa Mir spent two years in the FC Barcelona youth system, but it was in Valencia that he made a name for himself.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was a Barca goalkeeper from 1994 to 1997, but only made five official appearances. After coaching Spain and Real Madrid, he took over from Sevilla in 2019, winning the Europa League in his debut season.
Top goal scorers 2021/22
Rafa Mir (5), Erik Lamela (4), Lucas Ocampos (4), En-Nesyri (3)
Sevilla lack firepower up front, with two of the top scorers, Lamella and En-Nesyri by injury and Ocampos also in doubt.
News from the BarÃ§a team
The two changes from the squad that faced Elche are Gerard pique suspension return and Ilias Akhomach also get the green light to replace Yusuf Demir who still has a stomach ache.
SergiÃ±o Dest, Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, Pedri and Sergi Roberto are all still injured.
“It’s a great opportunity against a direct opponent, but it gets it right. We tend to look away from away teams like Bayern, but look what Lopetegui did with Seville. He’s one of the best.
âSevilla could win the championship this year. We are 16 points behind but there is still a long way to go and we are not counting anything. We must be more competitive and better defend.
“The other day I didn’t use more players from the reserve team because of the rules. The delegate Carles Naval warned me and if we had sent off a player, we would have lost all three points. It’s a stupid rule.
âOn Saturday we saw the team I want. The first half was exceptional. But we must condemn the games. We are on the right track but there is still a lot of progress to be made.
“It’s good to criticize Ter Stegen but it must also be praised. But people spot goalie mistakes more. His footwork is extraordinary. Only Neuer is comparable to him.