Best Odds: 4/11
Bookmaker: William Hill
Sevilla face an uphill battle in the return leg of the Spanish Super Cup at Camp Nou having suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg at home. Jorge Sampoli is still hopeful his team can perform a miracle in order to clinch the first trophy of the season against the in-form La Liga champions Barcelona.
Second-half goals from Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi gave Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 first-leg lead against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. Uruguay forward Suarez scored his 17th goal in last ten games for Barcelona, once again proving he is in brilliant form. Former Liverpool striker has now scored in every single possible competition for Barcelona and will be keen to extend his good run in the return leg at Camp Nou as well. Uruguay international scored 59 nine goals for Barcelona last season and he went on to a good start in his attempt to break the tally in the 2016/17 season. It was a routine win for Barcelona, but coach Luis Enrique has warned his team of complacency ahead of the Wednesday’s clash. Barcelona want to begin their season on a high and a Super Cup trophy will be a great introduction to La Liga opening next Saturday. League champions Barca begin their title defence at home to Real Betis with their hopes high of repeating the last season’s success. The Catalans will however be eager to avoid last-gasp anxiety as their poor stretch in the closing stages of the season almost cost them the La Liga title.
La Liga champions head into the return leg with a couple of first-team regulars unavailable through injury. Andres Iniesta and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are both suffering from knee problems, while left-back Jordi Alba is out with muscular problems.
Jeremy Mathieu has picked up a knock in the first leg and is likely to be rested. Rafinha and Neymar are fighting at the Olympics with Brazil and are yet to return to the fold.
Rojiblancos are slowly gaining some ground following a turbulent season which sae Sevilla lose their manager Unai Emery and a couple of key players from last season. Jorge Sampaoli was brought to replace now a Paris Saint-Germain manager, while the club brought no less than nine new signings to cover for the summer losses. Sevilla started their season with a heavy schedule as they first fought with Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup prior to their encounter with Barcelona in the domestic Super Cup at the weekend. The calendar has obviously hurt Rojiblancos who put a solid first-half display against the reigning La Liga champions. Man marking was working very well for the first 45 minutes, but a clear lack of pace cost Sevilla after the break as Rojiblancos failed to endure the pressure from the Catalans. Sampaoli’s men now face an uphill battle at Camp Nou as the team enters final preparations for the new season. Namely, Sevilla are looking into the possibility of adding more players to their squad until the transfer window closes and according to reports Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been identified as the top transfer target for the Rojiblancos, who will be looking to take their number of summer arrivals to ten players in total.
Goalkeeper David Soria has fractured his finger and will be forced to sit through the return leg at Camp Nou.
Benoit Tremoulinas and Michael Krohn-Dehli continue to miss out due to their long-term meniscus and kneecap injuries respectively.
Key Factors to Consider
- Luis Suarez scored 17 goals in last 10 games for Barcelona
- Catalans have lost only one of their last 11 matches in all competitions
- Jorge Sampaoli is yet to record a competitive win at Sevilla
- Rojiblancos conceded 5 goals in their last two games
- Sevilla last won against Barcelona at Camp Nou in 2010
Sevilla are going through a rough patch as heavy schedule is making it so much harder for Jorge Sampaoli at the beginning of his Sevilla tenure. Barcelona are in red-hot form and must be considered clear-cut favourites to win the return leg as well as Luis Enrique will not let his players drop their guard at the beginning of the season.
Best Odds: 4/11
Bookmaker: William Hill