Sunday, 6 October 2019
Barcelona are on the hunt for a fourth straight win in all competitions as they welcome Sevilla to the Camp Nou on Sunday night.
With the top two of Real Madrid and Granada playing each other this weekend, a win for either side will see them climb to the summit of La Liga.
Currently fourth and two points behind leaders Real Madrid on the table, the champions come into the match after staging a comeback against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Inter proved to be difficult opponents for the home side with the Italians taking an early lead. Two Luis Suarez goals won the match for the Catalans, with the second being made by injury free Lionel Messi after a wonderful dribble through the Inter defence.
If proof was needed of what Messi brings to the team, this was a fine reminder of the difference he can make in tight meetings, in what was only his second start to the season.
Sevilla were also in European action midweek, beating APOEL Nicosia 1-0 in the Europa League. This was their second successive win after beating Real Sociedad 3-2 last weekend.
They have won three and drawn one of their first league games to lie sixth but level on points with Barca.
Despite coming up against a team that is known for dishing out football lessons at the Nou Camp, Julen Lopetegui will be hoping his side has woken from their recent surprise defeat at Eibar.
For Ernesto Valverde, the return of Messi will be an incredibly important salve to a rough start to the season. He has come under immense scrutiny for his team setup which has not always looked very convincing, stumbling on several occasions.
He will be hoping the Argentine maestro can strike up a partnership with Antoine Griezmann despite reports of them not getting along well so far as is expected.
Barca will be short in the defence department with regulars Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet out of this match. Lengletreceived his matching orders in the 2-0 win over Getafe last weekend and is suspended while Umtiti is still out with a foot injury
This means that Jean-Clair Todibo could feature in the centreback role alongside the experienced Gerard Pique.
The hosts will also be without the services of Jordi Alba with the left-back still battling to overcome a nagging hamstring problem.
Expect lots of goals in this match. This fixture has served goals aplenty in recent meetings with Sevilla losing 4-2 last October with Ivan Rakitic scoring against his former club.
The teams also met in the Copa Del Rey with Sevilla winning 2-0 at home but the Blaugrana bounced back with a 6-1 thrashing in the return leg.
Head to Head:
Sevilla have lost their last 7 league visits to Barcelona and have not won a league match at the Nou Camp since 2003.
Home win and both teams to score