MX23RW : Friday, August 6 04:44:43| >> :120:4313:4313:
Jan 30, 2019 at 8.30pm UK at Camp Nou
Attendance: 58,050
Coutinho (13' pen., 53'), Rakitic (31'), Roberto (54'), Suarez (89'), Messi (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Arana (67')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash between Barcelona and Sevilla.

Barcelona play host to Sevilla in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final needing to overcome a 2-0 deficit in order to remain in the competition.

However, Sevilla make the trip to Camp Nou having not recorded a victory at the home of the Catalan giants since 2010.


Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde pictured on November 24, 2018© Reuters

Barcelona have enjoyed a strong season in each of La Liga and the Champions League, but Ernesto Valverde's side have work to do if they are to remain in the hunt for the treble.

The Spanish giants needed to overcome a deficit to get the better of Levante earlier this month, and they face the same scenario heading into this week's second leg with a team who have spent the campaign at the top end of the standings.

Valverde made changes for the trip to Seville last Wednesday, but the Barca boss would have expected a better effort from the side that he selected and that may lead to the club's star men being used for the reverse fixture.

Lionel Messi has already completed 90 minutes on four occasions since the short winter break, but Valverde will be tempted to call upon the Argentine maestro with goals coming in each of his last seven outings in all competitions.

The match is being staged at a time when a couple of Barcelona's fringe players are being linked with transfers before the end of the month, but the injury to Ousmane Dembele may highlight to Valverde that he needs to provide more opportunities to either Denis Suarez or Malcom.

Both were only unused substitutes for the weekend's 2-0 victory at Girona, and whoever remains at Camp Nou will be hoping for a show of faith from their manager.

Valverde will not be completely satisfied with his team's most recent performances, but Barcelona do head into this encounter having won each of their last six domestic games at their home ground for the loss of just two goals.

The general expectation is that Barcelona will continue that run against Sevilla, but a more rounded display will be required to secure a place in the last four.

Recent form: WWLWL
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWLW


Pablo Machin in charge of Sevilla on January 6, 2019© Reuters

The disappointment of putting together a return of one win and three defeats from five outings after the winter break had the potential to bring all of Sevilla's previous momentum to a halt, but last week's win could now act as the catalyst for greater things to come.

Losing to Athletic Bilbao twice in quick succession and to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu without scoring a goal was not ideal preparation ahead of a meeting with Barcelona, but Pablo Machin's men rose to the occasion when provided with the ultimate test.

Barcelona had their moments at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but Sevilla were fully deserving of their rare win against their more illustrious opponents and now have something to work with at Camp Nou.

That result was followed up by the 5-0 thrashing of Levante but that win - in some regards - is irrelevant, with Machin needing to put together a whole different gameplan to gain a result against Barcelona.

Sevilla have already travelled to Barcelona this season, and on that occasion the home side were two goals ahead within 12 minutes and eventually went on to register a 4-2 win.

A repeat of that scoreline would be enough for Los Rojiblancos on Wednesday night, but Machin will be aware that his side cannot afford to start so slowly on their second visit to Camp Nou in just over three months.

Nevertheless, Sevilla have not been short of goals this season, with an average of two strikes per game coming from 27 matches in La Liga and the Europa League.

Finding a third goal in this tie would make things significantly easier, but Machin knows that progress will only be achieved if both he and his team can find the right balance with their approach.

Recent form: DWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WLLLWW

Team News

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 11, 2018© Reuters

Messi is likely to be handed a starting role, and the attacker could be joined by Kevin-Prince Boateng with Luis Suarez dropping down to the bench.

Malcom may replace Philippe Coutinho on the flank, while Sergi Roberto and Arthur are in line for appearances in midfield.

The backline could remain the same, although Thomas Vermaelen and Jeison Murillo are options should Valverde prefer to rest either of Gerard Pique or Clement Lenglet.

Machin is unlikely to move away from the system he used in the opening leg, with Quincy Promes being used further forward rather than at wing-back like he was at the weekend.

Promes may get the nod over Andre Silva, with Sergio Escudero being used on the left flank and Jesus Navas being deployed on the opposite side.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Arthur, Vidal; Messi, Boateng, Malcom

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Soriano; Mercado, Gomez, Kjaer; Navas, Banega, Amadou, Sarabia, Escudero; Promes, Ben Yedder

Head To Head

Sevilla enjoyed their success last week but as you would expect, Barcelona have dominated this fixture in recent years.

The Catalan giants had put together an 11-match unbeaten run before the game in Seville, with nine wins and two draws being recorded since February 2016.

Sevilla have not defeated Barcelona on their travels since a 2-1 triumph in this competition just over nine years ago.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Barcelona 3-1 Sevilla

We expect Barcelona to turn on the style to register a win over Sevilla later this week. However, the visitors possess quality in attack and we believe that one goal may be enough to send Machin's team through on away goals.

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Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 11, 2018
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Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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