League leaders Barcelona are facing one of their biggest tests of the La Liga season so far as they welcome Sevilla to the Nou Camp on Saturday evening. Currently four points clear at the top of the table, Ernesto Valverde’s men will hope to extend their lead at the weekend.
Sevilla meanwhile will be aiming to notch their fourth win in succession in all competitions.
Despite all of their critics during pre-season, Barcelona have kicked-off the 2017/18 season in eye-catching form. Currently leading the standings in Spain, the Blaugrana have won nine out of their last ten games, collecting 28 points out of a possible thirty. Their scoring rate has also been extremely impressive too. The team have netted an amazing 28 times just in league action; adding another 11 strikes in the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey, amongst others.
Their defence has also been almost impossible to get past having only conceded on three occasions so far this season in league action. Valverde’s men should be confident going into the clash considering their form at the Nou Camp in recent months. Barcelona have come away the victors in their last 17 home league clashes, managing to score 3+ goals in 14 of those games. As a matter of fact, they have not lost at home since a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Deportivo Alavés back at the start of September 2016.
Ernesto Valverde however does have a few injury concerns for their latest tussle. Key midfielder Andrés Iniesta has been missing for two games and will be unavailable for selection. The Spaniard is joined on the sidelines Aleix Vidal, André Gomes and Sergi Roberto. Long-term absentees Arda Turan, Rafinha and Ousmane Dembélé all remain missing through injury.
Compared to Barcelona’s lofty league position, Sevilla have got nowhere near their opponents but are still having an extremely respectable campaign under Eduardo Berizzo. Currently sitting fifth in the La Liga standings, they have won six out of their ten games and only sit one point behind undefeated Atlético Madrid. They will certainly need to improve their form in La Liga if they are to get a result at the Nou Camp. Los Rojiblancos have lost three out of their last games in league action, having only scored four goals.
It is where their goal-scoring this term that has really let them down. Sevilla have only managed to find the back of the net eleven times. Their concerns also continue on the road having only tasted victory in two out of their last 11 matches away from the Estadio Roman Sanchez Pizjuan, including losses in each of their last three games without scoring.
Luckily, Sevilla do not have all that many injuries going into the game at the Nou Camp. Defender Daniel Carriço has been missing since September with a muscle injury and is joined on the injury table Nicolás Pareja. Joaquín Correa has also been ruled out after sustaining a knock.
Key Facts To Consider
- Barcelona have the far better recent record between the two (W30, D11, L11)
- The Blaugrana won the last clash between the two 3-0 at the Nou Camp
- Sevilla have not won at the Nou Camp since January 2010
- Eduardo Berizzo’s men have only scored one goal against Barcelona in the last five matches between the two
- Barcelona have only failed to score against Sevilla in one out of the last 15 matches
Regardless of Sevilla’s positive start to the season, Barcelona should easily surpass their visitors. Los Rojiblancos’ difficulty in front of goal should prove to be the tipping point at the Nou Camp. Coupled with Barcelona’s excellent defensive record so far during the 2017/18 season, the hosts should waltz to a simple victory.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!