Barcelona vs Sevilla – UEFA Super Cup Preview
Barcelona look to win their fourth title in 2015, while Sevilla are looking to try and win their second UEFA Super Cup after last year’s defeat to Real Madrid.
Barcelona, the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League winner face Sevilla, the 2014-15 Europa League winner, in the 40th edition of the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night organised by UEFA. While Barcelona are arguably favourites in La Liga betting stakes to win the title once again this season, Sevilla will feel they have a decent chance of causing an upset with the teams still effectively going through their pre-season. Anything can happen over 90 minutes.
This will be the first time in the history of the tournament, where a Super Cup match is a rematch of a previous edition. Both the teams met before in the 2006 UEFA Super Cup at the Stade Louis II in Monaco, when Sevilla won 3-0.
Barcelona, the 2014-15 treble winner, have had a relatively good transfer window, despite the club going through a transfer embargo at the moment. The Blaugrana have signed Aleix Vidal from Sevilla, and Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid in the summer, but both the players won’t be able to play for the club before January.
Sevilla on the other hand have completed few exciting singings in the summer. Attacking midfield areas have been strengthened by the additions of Gael Kakuta (Chelsea), Iago Aspas (Liverpool), Ciro Immobile (centre forward) and Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro on free transfer). Steven N’Zonzi’s inclusion from Stoke City raised few eyebrows, while defensive areas have been covered up by the addition of Adil Rami from AC Milan.
The match involves few interesting sub-plots. Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he still holds an emotional bond with Sevilla, and ahead of the match, the Croatian claimed that Sevilla means “everything” to him.
“Honestly, everything,” said Rakitic when asked what Sevilla means to him. “Because when I say I’m going home, I mean I’m going to my house in Seville. That is where my wife is, where my daughter was born. So I have a very special connection, not just with the club, but with the city and all the people there.”
On the other hand, this tie could be the farewell match for Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez. The 27-year-old Spain international has been a reported target of Manchester United, and if the reports from the Catalan press are to be believed, the Super Copa game is going to be Pedro’s final match in the Barcelona shirt.
Date: Tuesday, 11th August, 2015
Time: 19.45 pm BST
Venue: Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena,Tbilisi, Georgia
Live Streaming: BT Sport
Barcelona vs Sevilla: Form Guide
Barcelona Form Guide: Last five matches
Barcelona didn’t enjoy a great pre-season campaign, with Louis Enrique’s side been beaten by the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Fiorentina. However the Catalan giants have regained some momentum ahead of the Super Cup with a fine 3-0 victory over Roma.
06/08/15 CLF Barcelona 3-0 Roma
03/08/15 ICC Fiorentina 2-1 Barcelona
29/07/15 ICC Chelsea 2-2 Barcelona
26/07/15 ICC Barcelona 1-3 Manchester United
22/07/15 ICC Barcelona 2-1 LA Galaxy
Sevilla Form Guide: Last five matches
The new signings took time to settle down while fixture list didn’t do much favour to Sevilla during the pre-season. Defeat against English championship side Brighton & Hove would have dampen their spirits, and Unai Emery would be looking to produce a strong result against AEK Athens on Saturday, ahead of their big clash on Tuesday.
02/08/15 CLF Brighton & Hove 1-0 Sevilla
01/08/15 CLF Watford 0-1 Sevilla
26/07/15 CLF Reims 1-2 Sevilla
25/07/15 CLF werden Bremen 3-1 Sevilla
19/07/15 Sevilla 1-1 Alcorcon
Barcelona vs Sevilla: Head to Head
If we look at the recent meetings between the two sides, it is clear that Barcelona have had a complete dominance over the Andalusia club. Sevilla haven’t managed to beat Barcelona since 2010/11 when they won 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup.
11/04/15 La Liga Sevilla 2-2 Barcelona
22/11/14 La Liga Barcelona 5-1 Sevilla
09/02/14 La Liga Sevilla 1-4 Barcelona
14/09/13 La Liga Barcelona 3-2 Sevilla
23/02/13 La Liga Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla
Barcelona Team News:
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba will definitely miss the tie. The Spanish left-back suffered a tendon injury in his right leg during the pre-season, and he will be sidelined for at least 15 days. Apart from that, Louis Enrique has a fully fit squad to chose from.
Sevilla Team News:
Ciro Immobile suffered a broken nose, following a nasty clash with goal keeper Huerelho Gomes during Sevilla’s pre-season friendly with Watford. The Italian striker has returned to training but it remains to be seen whether he is fit enough to face Barcelona. Another player who could miss out is defender Daniel Carrico, who suffered a muscle tear in his right leg.
Possible Line Ups:
Barcelona Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Alves, Bartra, Vermaelen, Mathieu; Mascherano, Rakitic, Rafinha; Neymar, Suarez and Messi
Sevilla Possible XI: Beto, Coke, Kolo, Lusimi, Krohn-Delhi, Tremoulinas, N’Zonzi, Rami, Suarez, Konoplyanka, Immobile.
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Written by Saikat Mandal.