Barcelona vs Sevilla match preview: predicted line-ups, team news, match facts

Date and time: April 3, 2022, 9:00 p.m. CET
Location: Camp Nou
Competetion: the league
Arbitrator: Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez

Overview

Come October, only a fool would tell you that Barcelona would easily qualify for the top four. The Catalans sat in the bottom half of the table after a disastrous start to the season with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel.

A few months into Xavi’s tenure and the roles turned. the Blaugranes are now in the driver’s seat to finish second in the league and a win on Sunday would assure them of the same.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 12 games and have scored four goals in six of them. Most recently, they demolished La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in ruthless fashion. After having defeated Los BlancosBarcelona are now aiming to displace Sevilla from second place.

What to expect from Barcelona?

Barcelona’s sudden return to life has seen several players earn international call-ups again. The Spanish national team now has almost seven garnet and blue players in its roster.

Other stars like Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay among others also had a busy international break. Coming together for their first game in two weeks, it remains to be seen if Xavi will choose to shuffle his cards.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start in the goal in the evening. The German featured in his country’s game against Israel but started on the bench for the following game against the Netherlands. He will be looking to keep his third consecutive clean sheet.

There have been rumors of Gerard pricks plans to come out of retirement for the 2022 World Cup. However, he did not take part in the La Roja set up during this break and will return fresh to face Sevilla.

Mammoth. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

It will probably be associated with Eric Garcia while Araujo played 180 minutes for Uruguay last week. Jordi Alba and Dani Alves could start at left-back and right-back respectively.

In the middle of the field, Sergio Busquets A return to action is expected after a well-deserved two-week break. The defensive midfielder hasn’t been called up by Luis Enrique, presumably as part of a normal rotation.

Pedri and Nicholas González should complete the midfield. While Frenkie de Jong has been sensational in recent games, his exhaustive international duty could give Xavi some rest.

In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will probably play number nine. The centre-forward has scored twice against Real Madrid and is already among La Liga’s top 20 scorers this season with seven goals.

The flanking left and right will be Ferran Torres and Ousmane Dembele respectively, the same trio that defeated Los Blancos two weeks ago.

Predicts Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Garcia, Alba; Nico, Busquets, Pédri; Dembele, Aubameyang, Torres

What to expect from Seville?

Julen Lopetegui’s side not only head into the Camp Nou clash in poor form, but also with a depleted squad. Six players are expected to be unavailable for Sunday’s game, putting the manager in a tight spot.

Yassine Bounou He was expected to miss this game due to a head injury, but he was named in the squad for the game. As such, he should start in goal.

The combination of Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde should be at the heart of the defense. Despite a tough time over the past few months, Sevilla have maintained one of the best defensive records in Europe.

Marcos Acuna will miss Barcelona clash with injury, and Karim Rekik is the best placed to take the Argentinian’s place. Jesus Navas will complete the defensive line at right-back and face Jordi Alba on the night.

Ivan Rakitic‘s will almost certainly start in midfield against his former club. It will be placed to the right of Nemanja Gudelj who was in good form heading into Sunday’s game. The last piece in midfield should be Joan Jordan.

The trio of Jesus Corona, Youssef En Nesyri, Lucas Ocampos should start on offense. All three players have eight goals and five assists among them in La Liga this season. Their pace will be a big challenge for Xavi’s side as the visitors will look to capitalize on the counter-attacks.

Possible composition of Seville: Bono; Navas, Koundé, Carlos, Rekik; Rakitic, Gudelj, Jordan; Ocampos, En-Nesyri, Crown

marquee player

Jules Kounde

Barca’s biggest obstacle. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

The 23-year-old has been one of Sevilla’s most impressive players this season and a big reason for the team’s incredible defensive record. He has played 23 league games for his side this season and has kept 11 clean sheets.

The Frenchman averages one tackle and one interception each, coupled with three clearances per game. He is also an essential part of the team in attack as he has the natural gift of carrying the ball with ease.

Match Facts

Barcelona previous games: WWWDW

Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona | the league
Galatasaray 1-2 Barcelona | UEFA Europa League
Barcelona 4-0 Osasuna | the league
Barcelona 0-0 Galatasaray | UEFA Europa League
Elx 1-2 Barcelona | the league

Previous Sevilla Games: DLDWD

Sevilla 0-0 Real Sociedad | the league
West Ham 2-0 Sevilla | UEFA Europa League
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Sevilla | the league
Seville 1-0 West Ham | UEFA Europa League
Alaves 0-0 Sevilla | the league

Head to head record

Sevilla 1-1 Barcelona | La Liga 2021-22
Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla | King’s Cup 2020-21
Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona | La Liga 2020-21
Seville 2-0 Barcelona | King’s Cup 2020-21
Barcelona 1-1 Sevilla | La Liga 2020-21

Key statistics

  • Sevilla have conceded nine of their last 19 goals between the 30th and 45th minute.
  • Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 12 games in all competitions.
  • Sevilla haven’t won in their last three games.
  • Sevilla haven’t won at Camp Nou since 2003.
  • Sevilla haven’t won against Barcelona in their last three games.

Prediction

Sevilla are a very tough team to face and Xavi’s side will have to work hard to get their way. The key, however, might belong to Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman has a brilliant record against Los Nervionenses and will be looking to deliver an impactful performance in front of home fans.

Barca Universal Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Sevilla