Sevilla vs Barcelona: latest team news, probable line-ups, score predictions & more
Barcelona face Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday, January 23, at 21:30.
⚽️ Latest team news
Ernesto Valverde has surprised everyone once again with his selection for the Cup game. Thus, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets have been left out of the squad while the club's newest signing Kevin-Prince Boateng has been included.
Elsewhere, Jeison Murillo is suspended for one game after picking up his second yellow card in the Copa del Rey in the game against Levante. Ousmane Dembele continues his recovery process along Rafinha, Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Samper.
Two Barcelona B players Riqui Puig and Oriol Busquets have been summoned to complete the squad that will travel to Sevilla on Wednesday.
The Andalusians have announced that former Barca striker Munir El Haddadi and defender Joris Gnagnon will miss the Cup game because of respective injuries. Maxime Gonalons and Nolito continue recovering from their long-term injuries and will also be left out of the squad to face Barcelona.
Pablo Machin is yet to reveal the official squad list for the Tuesday match.
⚽️ 5 stats you need to know (via League Lane)
• The last eight games in a row had over 2.5 match goals.
• Barca registered the last nine head-to-head wins in a row.
• Ernesto Valverde’s men have scored two or more goals in each of their last 11 appearances.
• Nine of the last 11 wins at this venue are in the name of the Catalans.
• Stretching back to 2004, the Blaugrana have scored in every single game at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
⚽️ Probable line-up
Ernesto Valverde becomes increasingly unpredictable but this time we believe that he has run out of surprises when announcing the squad for the game against Sevilla.
Thus, he is likely to field his strongest line-up at an extremely tough ground with Ivan Rakitic and Malcom deputising for Sergio Busquets and Leo Messi respectively.
Consequently, Arturo Vidal will start at Rakitic's usual position in the midfield while Philippe Coutinho will play closer to the opposition's goal again in Ousmane Dembele's absence with Arthur controlling the middle of the pitch.
In defence, we expect Nelson Semedo to start ahead of Sergi Roberto who has been playing regularly in the past weeks. Jasper Cillessen will continue his Copa campaign while Jordi Alba will start as well despite the coach discussing three versions of Barca XI without the Spanish left-back.
⚽️ Score predictions
Sports Mole: "We expect the pair to play out a 1-1 draw to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the return at Camp Nou. Munir to score for Sevilla against his former club and Coutinho to net for the holders." Sevilla 1-1 Barcelona.
Evening Standard: Sevilla 1-1 Barcelona.
Tribuna.com: Neither Barca nor Sevilla are going to play this game like it's their last one as both teams have a very tough schedule and their positions in La Liga call for rotations in the Cup. The Catalans are stronger by default, that's why we expect a modest victory from Valverde's charges. Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona.
⚽️ Key battles
Luis Suarez vs Simon Kjaer
Barcelona forward has been all over Spanish papers' headlines following the controversial episode in the La Liga game on the weekend. The way Suarez approached the challenge with Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar shows his fighting spirit that is going nowhere for the Copa game against the Andalusians.
Meanwhile, Sevilla Danish centre-back has been arguably the best player in Pablo Machin's side against Real Madrid despite conceding twice at the Bernabeu. The blonde giant is ready to face Barcelona's dark-haired beast keeping in mind that each goal Sevilla let in at home significantly lowers their chances of advancing to the semi-finals.
⚽️ Main quotes
Pablo Machin: "The match is difficult, but Barcelona will also think that. Barcelona don't like playing against Sevilla. I want us to compete and to beat the best team, although most of all I just want to avoid any injuries."
Ernesto Valverde: "Our analysis was based on the fact that they are a strong rival at home and in the knock-out ties they have always been very solvent. They are a team that have also taken steps into the competition."
What do you expect from Barcelona against Sevilla tomorrow?