Goals expected as Barcelona host Sevilla in Sunday’s top of LaLiga clash
Barcelona against Sevilla at the Camp Nou in Sunday evening’s LaLiga Santander clash brings together two high-scoring teams fighting towards the top of the table while still looking to find top gear after challenging starts to the new season.
Barça have had a roller-coaster start to their 2019/20 LaLiga Santander campaign, impressively winning all three of their home games so far but struggling on the road before last weekend’s much needed 2-0 victory at Getafe.
Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde has been using his experience to deal with serious injury issues – and last year’s champions remain well in touch in this season’s title race, currently in fourth spot just two points off leaders Real Madrid.
Positives for Barça have been promising starts by summer signings Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, as well as the startling impact by 16 year old youth team product Ansu Fati. More frustrating have been injury issues limiting team captain and talisman Lionel Messi to just 91 minutes of LaLiga action so far this season.
Sevilla have had a similarly up and down beginning to their campaign. Julen Lopetegui’s new-look side were top of the table after taking 10 points from their first four games only to stumble to defeats against Madrid and Eibar, before returning to form with a bang in Sunday’s thrilling 3-2 win at home to Real Sociedad.
Lopetegui’s team currently lie level on points with Barça, sitting sixth in the very tight top of the early LaLiga Santander table. A goalkeeper for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano during his playing career, the Basque has quickly put together an impressively competitive team at the Sanchez Pizjuan as he moves on from abruptly interrupted spells in charge of the Spain national team and Real Madrid.
Sevilla’s results so far have been especially impressive given 11 summer signings having already featured in the team’s first seven LaLiga games. Among those to impress have been former Eibar midfielder Joan Jordan, who scored winning goals away at Granada and Alaves, and Argentine attacker Lucas Ocampos who netted the decisive goal last weekend against ‘La Real.’ Meanwhile veterans Jesus Navas, Ever Banega and one-time Barça youth teamer Nolito have provided very useful LaLiga experience and know-how.
This fixture has promised goals in recent years – Sevilla lost 4-2 at the Camp Nou last October, with Barça’s ex-Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic scoring against his old club. The Catalans also won the reverse fixture at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, with Messi bagging a hat-trick after Navas had opened the scoring early. The teams also met in the 2018/19 Copa del Rey, with Sevilla winning the first leg 2-0 at home, but Barca roaring back to progress thanks to a 6-1 victory in the return.
Sevilla have not won at the Camp Nou in LaLiga since 2003, but that does not mean they should not travel confident given how well they have been playing under Lopetegui. Another high-scoring clash looks on the cards and a win for either side would ensure they remain right in the title race going into next week’s international break.
Watch FC Barcelona vs Sevilla FC on [LOCAL BROADCASTER] this Sunday at [LOCAL TIME].