Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is another Match Preview. In this article, we are going to discuss the Match Preview of Sevilla vs Barcelona. Barcelona is once again travelling away to face a really tough opponent. We have too many odds stacked against us. It is one of those days for us where it is extremely mandatory to keep a really strong nerve. Furthermore, we also have some added mental pressures as well just like the one we discussed in our previous article. This game is going to be a treat for a neutral, but not as a fan.
Sevilla is one of the toughest opponents Barca can ever play at the moment. The sad part is that Sevilla is not only the toughest opponent but we have a bundle of strong teams ready to play against us turn by turn. Something which is even more worrying for us is that we do not have enough breaks in between fixtures now. Lately, I have not been able to discuss some major news because I was too occupied in writing Match Previews, and Reviews. This shows how much little the gap is given in between every fixture of the La Liga.
I think this is one of the toughest phases for our players as well. However, almost every player in our squad is experienced. They have been playing football for decades now, and they must know how to act in these pressure situations. Therefore, I expect my team to keep strong nerves, and face this challenge with a brave heart. I agree that currently, all the pressure is on us. We have to deal with multiple odds. However, overcoming these odds, and then winning the league is going to taste so different and so better. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Match Preview of Sevilla vs Barcelona.
Sevilla vs Barcelona – Match Preview
Let’s talk about the Real Madrid vs Valencia clash first. We talked about this match in my previous article as well, and I feel like I should talk about this again. Real faced Valencia and they completely dominated them. Real Madrid won 3-0 and they look confident. Their morale is looking very high and their confidence level looks better than us. We need to work on that. We need to work on our mentality. Otherwise, things are going to turn around pretty soon. There is no coming back if Barcelona goes to 2nd place on the points table. Now, let’s take a look at the kick-off timings for this fixture.
Kick-off timing for this game is similar to the one in the previous two fixtures. The kick-off is going to take place at 10:00 PM as per local time. Barcelona is playing this fixture away from home. Therefore, it is important if we discuss conditions at the away stadium. Sevilla is pretty much the hottest city in Spain. Therefore, night timings are also going to provide a lot of fatigue to the players. Weather is generally cooler at night, but it won’t be as much cooler due to the overall climate of the city. Therefore, cooling breaks must be used wisely. You can check the kick-off timings for your respective country/region in the following image.
- Coming on to the squad list, Quique Setien announced a 23 players squad to travel to Seville. Here is the squad for Sevilla vs Barcelona.
Goalkeepers: Ter Stegen, Neto, and Inaki Pena.
- Defenders: Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Firpo, Arujo, and Chumi.
- Midfielders: Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Vidal, Puig, and Monchu.
- Forwards: Suarez, Messi, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Collado, Ansu Fati, and Saverio.
We have to note that Frankie De Jong and Sergio Roberto are out of the squad due to injury problems. Furthermore, Samual Umiti is out as well due to a suspension. So, we have 3 first-choice players out of the squad. This means we have even fewer options on an already thin squad. Having said that, let’s take a look at the expected lineups for this fixture.
Sevilla vs Barcelona – Expected Lineup:
There are a few squad changes in the team. This is another sign of worry for us, and Quique Setien has to make sure that he uses his player choices wisely. Roberto and De Jong are not in the squad. Therefore, it is also not possible for them to be in the lineup. Jordi Alba is back into the squad after surviving the 1 game suspension. Therefore, he is going to replace Junior Firpo as the starting LB. Arthur, Vidal, Busquests, Rakitic, and Puig are going to be our choices in the midfield.
Ter Stegen is going to start in goal. This is the obvious choice. MATS is always our number one goalkeeper priority unless he is injured. It is going to be a tough day for Ter Stegen. Therefore, he must be mentally prepared for the challenge. Sevilla is not going to go easy on our defenders, and ultimately Ter Stegen is going to be involved as well. Their attackers are going to test his abilities, and it is one of those games where he has to prove that his reputation is correct. I expect him to drop a goalkeeping masterclass today.
Alba is going to replace Junior Firpo on the Left Back. Both Alba and Firpo are in good form. However, it’s obvious who is going to start the game. As we discussed earlier, Roberto is out injured. So, we only have Semedo in the Right Back slot and he is surely going to start there. To be honest, even if Roberto was available, I would have liked to see Semedo as our started because of his strong defensive prowess. It’s because Sevilla likes to play on Wings with their fullbacks on the overlap. So, we need someone like Semedo who has to pace to track back and defend when needed. Their forwards like to penetrate deep in the final third, and they try their best to push the opposition CBs as close to the goal as possible. Therefore, we require expertise from all 4 defenders.
Pique picked up a rather brutal knock in the previous game against Leganes. However, I know that Pique is a fighter, and is surely going to make sure that Quique Setien puts his name in the Starting Eleven. Lenglet is going to accompany him. I was so impressed with Lenglet’s previous performance. I think he deserves a lot of praise for performing like that. Furthermore, this is the kind of performance we demand as fans. These types of performances also boost a lot of morale which we need at this moment. Let’s see if he can do the same.
I don’t think that Quique is going to have a lot of rotation choices for his defenders. Umtiti is out due to suspension. Junior Firpo is one valid option to use on the Left Back. Araujo is most likely to be in the squad as well, but he lacks experience. It is a possibility that he might lose confidence or focus at any moment which ends as a Sevilla goal. Therefore, it is a tough day today for the back 4. They have to keep their nerves and make sure that we end with another clean-sheet.
There are a few possibilities in the starting midfield trio. One thing is for sure that there is going to be no De Jong in this game as well. He was on the bench in the previous game, but Quique did not use him. For this game, he is not even in the squad. Vidal, Busquests, and Arthur are the most likely midfielders to start the game as a trio.
However, Arthur must prove himself today. His close control, and being able to maneuver the ball in tight spaces is most likely the reason to choose him above Rakitic. Otherwise, Rakitic had a great game against Leganes. He was productive in the midfield and showed that he still has the same old class within him. However, Rakitic is more of a defensive-minded midfielder. That is the most probable reason Quique might not start the game with him.
If he is planning to defend more against Sevilla, then Rakitic is surely going to start. However, this is not how we should approach this game. We should try our best to attack Sevilla as much as we can. Only then we are going to be able to win.
Lionel Messi is going to be the starting Right Winger. Ansu Fati is the most likely player to start with Messi on the other side of the wing. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez is going to start at number 9. I want to talk a bit about Messi. Yes, he is performing. Surely, he looks super fit. I also agree that he is the best player on our team. However, are we demanding too much from him or is he doing his normal job? I mean look at how tight every fixture is. Times are tough for us.
We are still demanding Leo to play every game for us. We want to see him on the pitch for all 90 minutes. Not just that, but we also want him to deliver magical performances every week. Is that too much? Or is this something which he needs to do anyway? These kinds of situations are really hard to deal with, and the last thing I want is Messi to get injured. I wish all the best wishes to my king. Griezmann and Braithwaite are also going to be in the squad and we might see them at some point.
TEST FOR QUIQUE SETIEN
I think Sevilla is now the team which is also going to reveal a lot about Quique Setien. This is one of the toughest challenges for Setien as well. He has to show us now if his philosophy is compatible with our mentality. He has to prove if he can keep nerves in crucial fixtures or not. The reason for this is that this game is nothing in front of what we are going to face in future. We have Champions League starting in August, and times are going to be even tougher. Can Quique keep up?
I would also like to talk about Sevilla. Yes, they are a really tough team. Yes, they do give us a lot of tough time. However, they have not looked to be in the best of forms lately. They won 1 out of 2 recent games they have played. No, they did not lose the other one. Instead, they drew in that fixture. Their football does not look as lethal. Do you guys agree with me on this? Or is it just me who is thinking like that?
I would also like to add that they are going to come to us well prepared. Therefore, we should not make assumptions based on their previous two performances only. They are aware of our weak aspects, and they are going to make sure that they test us over there. Sevilla has some great players such as Ocampus. He is the guy to watch because of all the hype he is creating with his performances.
This is certainly going to be a nail-biting encounter, and it is one of those games in which strong nerves bring out the best of results. Let’s see which team is the strongest to withstand pressure.
Anyway, this is it from us guys. I expect a 0-2 win for Barcelona. This is going to be a difficult fixture, but it is not impossible. We have done it from time to time, and we can do it again. We have to stay confident and believe in our team. Guess what? Lionel Messi is at 699 career goals. This is surely going to be one of the biggest games for him as well. I hope that he does find his 700th today. I think it is possible as well.
Messi is Sevilla’s worst nightmare. I think he is going to be in the right zone and the right mood for this particular fixture. I hope that he lives up to the expectations. Furthermore, I also expect my forwards to shine. This is going to be a game of goals. Both sides are going to attack each other with full zeal and fervour. Therefore, I am hopeful for this encounter. You guys should also feel the same.
Yes, things are going to be bad for us if we lose. A defeat here can also end hopes of winning La Liga. However, we have to make sure we support our team in their best times, but also their worst times. I badly want to see my team winning the league. However, I would not hate them if they don’t. This is how families act, and we all are an FC Barcelona family.
This is it from us guys. I hope you liked the content. For more Match Previews, Reviews, and other Barcelona related news, stay tuned to the blog. We are going to come up with Review within hours of this game so make sure you come back for that.
Until the next time, Visca El Barca!