MX23RW : Sunday, April 18 20:58:59| >> :120:5486:5486:
Feb 27, 2021 at 3.15pm UK at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
SevillaSevilla
0-2
BarcelonaBarcelona

Fernando (31'), Carlos (38'), Lopetegui (44'), Escudero (45'), Rekik (46'), Jordan (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dembele (29'), Messi (85')
Messi (42'), Dembele (82')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Sevilla and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

One of the standout fixtures in the La Liga calendar will take place at Estadio Ramon on Saturday afternoon as Sevilla welcome Barcelona for what should be a fascinating affair.

There are only two points between the two sides in the table ahead of this weekend's contest, with Barca currently occupying third position, while Sevilla are fourth, comfortably clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad.


Match preview

Sevilla's Jules Kounde celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey on February 10, 2021© Reuters

Sevilla have been in impressive form during the 2020-21 La Liga campaign, winning 15, drawing three and losing five of their 23 matches to collect 48 points, which has left them in fourth position in the table.

Julen Lopetegui's side are just two points behind third-placed Barca and just four points off second-placed Real Madrid, with games in hand over both sides, while they are seven points clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad, meaning that a top-four position is fairly secure at this stage of the season.

The Europa League holders will enter this match off the back of a 2-0 win at Osasuna on Monday night, with Diego Carlos and Luuk de Jong scoring the goals at Estadio El Sadar.

Sevilla now face back-to-back games with Barca as they will also take on Ronald Koeman's side in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final next week, holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Estadio Ramon.

Domestically, Lopetegui's side continue to impress, but they have work to do in the Champions League, having suffered a 3-2 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 clash on February 17.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Elche in La Liga on February 24, 2021© Reuters

Barca, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's contest off the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Elche on Wednesday, with Lionel Messi scoring a brace before Jordi Alba registered in the 73rd minute.

Like Sevilla, the Catalan giants are facing Champions League elimination, having lost 4-1 at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie, while, as mentioned, they have work to do in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final, which should be a fascinating contest at Camp Nou.

There is no getting away from the fact that Barca have had problems this season, both on the field and behind the scenes, but they are unbeaten in the league since the start of December and have won eight of their last nine in Spain's top flight to close the gap on the teams above them.

Koeman's side are currently third, two points behind second-placed Real Madrid, while they are only five points off leaders Atletico, suggesting that a title challenge is not impossible at this stage.

Barca only have the fourth best away record in La Liga this season, though, suffering three defeats, and they were held to a goalless draw in the corresponding match during the 2019-20 campaign.

Sevilla La Liga form: WWWWWW
Sevilla form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Barcelona La Liga form: WWWWDW
Barcelona form (all competitions): WLWLDW


Team News

Barcelona's Ansu Fati in action with Villarreal's Dani Parejo in La Liga on September 27, 2020© Reuters

Sevilla will again be without the services of key attacker Lucas Ocampos, who has scored seven times this season, due to an ankle problem, while Marcus Acuna is also out with a hamstring issue.

Karim Rekik is expected to continue at left-back, but there will be changes from the side that started against Osasuna on Monday with Ivan Rakitic and Youssef En-Nesyri set to return to the side.

Papu Gomez is battling Munir El Haddadi for the spot on the left of the attack, while De Jong and Oliver Torres are likely to drop out to allow Rakitic and En-Nesyri to come into the XI.

As for Barca, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Philippe Coutinho remain unavailable for selection, but the Catalan giants did not pick up any fresh injury or suspension issues against Elche.

Koeman shuffled his pack for Wednesday's affair, but the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Busquets, Clement Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann and Sergino Dest should return for this contest.

Gerard Pique and Alba were both substituted against Elche but are available for this match, while Pedri should keep his position alongside Frenkie de Jong in the middle of the park.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Rekik; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Suso, En-Nesyri, Munir

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Griezmann, Messi, Dembele


SM words green background

We say: Sevilla 1-1 Barcelona

The last two league matches between these two teams have finished level, and we are finding it difficult to separate them once again. Sevilla were excellent against Barca in the Copa del Rey earlier this month, and we are backing Lopetegui's side to secure a point on Saturday afternoon.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong celebrates scoring against Elche in La Liga on January 24, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico31217357203770
2Real Madrid31207453242967
3Barcelona30205569264365
4Sevilla31204746252164
5Villarreal311213648341449
6Real Betis31146114245-348
7Real Sociedad311211848331547
8Granada30116133650-1439
9Levante31911113844-638
10Celta Vigo31911114148-738
11Athletic Bilbao30910113933637
12Osasuna31910122736-937
13CadizCadiz3199132745-1836
14Valencia31811123944-535
15Getafe31710142234-1231
16AlavesAlaves3169162547-2227
17Huesca31512143146-1527
18Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
19ElcheElche31511152748-2126
20EibarEibar31411162241-1923

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