Thursday, July 27, 2017

Prediction: Barcelona vs Sevilla

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Copa del Rey final will see two of Europe’s most successful clubs battle for the coveted trophy at Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid. While Barcelona lifted the Champions League title last season, Sevilla have now made it three Europa League trophies in a row, and they will certainly be buoyed by the success in Basel.

Barcelona

Barcelona were on a downtrend when Luis Enrique took over the reigns from Tata Martino, and while many doubted his managerial credentials, the former Celta Vigo boss has seriously improved the squad at Camp Nou. Enrique did get the backing from the club board as he was allowed to sign several star players, but he also left his stamp on the team, adopting a more direct approach that has made the Catalans even more dangerous up front. We will never know whether it was Enrique who decided to move Messi to the right wing or the Argentine superstar requested the change of position, but the most important thing is that it worked like a charm, allowing Luis Suarez to work his magic in the centre forward position, bagging 40 goals in 35 league outings. The MSN trio was responsible for yet another league trophy, but they eventually failed to defend the Champions League title, falling victim to inspired Atletico Madrid. But, having been scoring goals for fun over the last few weeks, the Catalans stand a good chance of ending the season in style with the Copa del Rey triumph.

Team News

Luis Enrique has a clean bill of health ahead of the Copa del Rey final, with only talented forward Sandro Ramirez unavailable.

Claudio Bravo has resumed full training after recovering from injury, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to remain in the side.

Sevilla

Sevilla may not have enjoyed plenty of success in Europe’s elite competition, but they have quickly become the most successful side in the history of Europa League (UEFA Cup), and their three consecutive trophies are unlikely to be matched any time soon. For the second year running, los Rojiblancos have secured Champions League qualification despite finishing outside of top 4 positions in La Liga, and they appear to really enjoy the alternative route to the elite. After Villarreal got away in the race for top 4 places in the league, coach Unai Emery intentionally sacrificed the league campaign in order to keep his star players fresh for the Europa League final, and even though they were trailing at half-time, Sevilla produced an amazing comeback in the second period to record a 3-1 win, while they could have also won by a greater margin. Celebrations had to be kept to the minimum as los Rojiblancos now have Copa del Rey final to negotiate, and they will need to be at their best if they want to match mighty Barcelona. Unai Emery could make a couple of changes to the starting line-up after the demanding game in Basel, but his key men should keep their places.

Team News

Yevhen Konoplyanka has recovered from injury and he is in contention to start, while Sergio Rico should be recalled to the side.

Michael Krohn-Dehli, Jose Antonio Reyes, Benoit Tremoulinas and Marco Andreolli all miss out through injury, while Steven N’Zonzi and Timothee Kolodziejczak are banned.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in last nine meetings between Barca and Sevilla
  • Their last seven meetings produced 35 goals
  • Sevilla won just one of last 14 matches vs Barcelona (D3 L11)
  • Barcelona won last five games, scoring 24 goals
  • Sevilla made it three Europa League titles in a row

Conclusion

Taking into account that both sides are playing really well at the moment and that this matches comes right after their respective trophy wins, we should see a real spectacle of football at Vicente Calderon. Therefore, there is every chance that the both teams to score trend in their meetings is going to continue.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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