Primera Division Tips: FC Barcelona v Sevilla

By on November 22, 2014

La Liga football action returns to the TV screens as FC Barcelona get ready to take on Sevilla at the Camp Nou in what will be a tough encounter for the Catalans as they try to avoid a second successive home defeat.

Barcelona have faced a difficult past few weeks or so in La Liga. The 3-1 loss in El Clasico at the Bernabeu at the end of last month was a hard blow on their title charge. Apart from that, they suffered from a second successive loss in the subsequent game against Celta de Vigo, and this time at home. However, that game can be considered an unlucky one as the Catalans had severel good chances to score from, in that game and also hot the woodwork on multiple times. That being said, they now find themselves 2nd in the Liga rankings, 2 points behind current leaders Real Madrid. Coach Luis Enrique was criticized for the two consecutive losses and there were several questions raised on his team selection. The former Barcelona midfielder must leave the criticism behind and focus on his team and this game as this will be another big test for his side and if they fail to get all 3 points from this game, the consequences could be dire. Lucho has an unparalleled squad at his disposal and there’s no doubt that in time his front three will gel together and get better results, but for now they need a proper game plan which has been lacking in the past few games. Furthermore, Lucho has to figure out his best defensive pair and stick to it so that the back four can gel together as well, although injuries in that department have not made things easier.

Barcelona have not been in ideal form recently as two successive losses in the past three games has seen them concede the top spot to Real Madrid. They have won three of their last five games. Their last game was a hard fought 2-1 win away to Almeria where they came back from 1 goal down to win the game thanks to two sublime Luis Suarez assists.

Sevilla have been on fire this season and Unai Emery’s hard work from the past few seasons seems to be showing. They seem to be building on their success from last season where they won the Europa League title and are now targetting a top 4 finish to qualify for the Champion’s League. Although there have been a few disappointing results on the way, they are playing good football and have been pretty impressive so far. With 23 points from 11 games, they find themselves currently on 5th in the Liga rankings, level on points with 4th placed Atletico Madrid and only 1 points behind Valencia. They were level on points with Barcelona before their last Liga game but failing to get all 3 points against Levante saw them drop to 5th. This game will be a huge test for Unai Emery’s men but the entire squad will know that Barcelona are going through a very vulnerable phase right now and if they can stick to their tactics and work hard as a unit, this is as good a time as any to earn all 3 points at the Camp Nou. This game will also be a test of sorts for the youngsters Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu who are on loan at Sevilla from Barcelona and will get a chance in this game to showcase their talents and whether or not they have matured enough to earn a place at Barcelona next season.

Sevilla have been in decent form recently having won three of their last five games while losing one and drawing the other. Their last Liga game was a disappointing 1-1 draw against Levante which saw them concede their 3rd place spot to Valencia.

Barcelona will be without the injured Jeremy Mathieu for this game. The French defender is back in training however he will not be available for this game. Thomas Vermaelen, Andres Iniesta, Douglas, Sergi Roberto and Martin Montoya are also doubtful for this game and will most likely be absent.

Sevilla will have to make do without Piotr Trochowski for this game as he is out with an injury. Fernando Navarro will most likely miss out as well, as he is doubtful for this game and will be assessed closer to kick off.

DATE: November 22, 2014

TIME: 19:00 PM BST

VENUE: Camp Nou, Barcelona

REFEREE: Carlos Clos Gomez

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:
Barcelona (4-3-3):- Bravo; Alba, Bartra, Pique, Alves; Xavi, Busquets, Rakitic; Neymar, Messi, Suarez
Sevilla (4-2-3-1):- Beto; Tremoulinas, Pareja, Carrico, Coke; Mbia, Krychowiak; Vitolo, Suarez, Deulofeu; Bacca

LAST MEETING: February 9, 2014 | La Liga | Sevilla 1-4 Barcelona

RECENT FORM:
Barcelona:- W W L L W
Sevilla:- D W L W W

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Barcelona 3-1 Sevilla

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