La Liga Barcelona vs Sevilla: Camp Nou will host the clash of the leaders to determine who will take the top spot

La Liga Barcelona vs Sevilla: It’s All About Being No.1

Barcelona vs Sevilla

It’s a defining moment and a date with destiny for Barcelona and Sevilla.

The Catalans are currently second after a slow start to the 2018-19 La Liga campaign, but they have a chance to return to the top when they host surprise leaders Sevilla at Camp Nou.

Sevilla, however, won’t go down without a fight. Not with a chance to prove their title credentials against the reigning Spanish champions themselves.

The La Liga Barcelona-vs-Sevilla match definitely has all the makings of a thriller, and while the odds suggest otherwise, it won’t be wrong to expect a tightly contested and highly physical encounter at Catalonia.

Talking Points

Up and down Barcelona

Barcelona have gone from hot to cold to start their title defence. After winning five straight games to open the campaign, they have now gone winless in their last four league fixtures.

The defending champions dropped points against Girona, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia and even lost to Leganes in their Matchday 6 clash.

They did win against Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League meeting earlier this month, but they failed to transfer their European success when they returned. In their meeting with Valencia before the international break, Barcelona needed a 23rd-minute Lionel Messi strike to share the spoils and could have lost the game had Goncalo Guedes not been injured for the home team.

Defence remains the biggest problem for the Catalans. They have already conceded six in their winless skid, two times more than the goals they have allowed in their opening five games.

Unfortunately for Barca, it’s unlikely they’ll find a solution to their defensive woes. Gerard Pique, who was supposed to anchor the Barcelona backline, has been in abysmal form and was suspect for allowing Valencia to score the opening goal over a week ago.

France international Samuel Umtiti and Belgium defensive star Thomas Vermaelen are set to miss the game, giving more problems at the back for the already short-handed Barcelona.

It remains to be seen how Ernesto Valverde will address the concern. It’s likely he’ll employ a 3-4-3 formation to stabilise the backline, though that will give them some challenges when it comes to running a counter-attack.

Lion Leo, a threat to Sevilla?

While Barca look vulnerable right now, Sevilla won’t be taking them lightly.

They are the defending champions to start with, and they still have the magnificent Messi who has shown he’s ready to carry the team when the going gets tough.

Barcelona-Sevilla results: Lionel Messi inspiring his team to get the three points at Camp Nou

Lionel Messi dribbles the ball past Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia

He has already tallied six league goals and four assists and was on target for Barca in their last two matches to give the team a share of the points.

Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros knows the threat Messi brings, and he issued a warning to his team to be wary of the pint-sized Argentine.

“Messi is like a lion. A lion has to be caressed and you can put your hand in his mouth and he will not bite,” Caparros said via Marca. “But if you touch his claws, a lion can tear your head off.”

Streaking Seville

Four straight wins catapulted Sevilla to the top, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

While the Barca faithful and neutrals would argue that Sevilla are just a bit lucky to face weaker opposition in their four-game run, it should be noted that they beat Real Madrid by three goals while keeping the European champions scoreless.

They have been on a tear offensively as well, averaging 3.5 goals in that winning stretch. Overall, they have already found the back of the net 18 times this year, only behind Barca by one goal in the La Liga scoring charts.

Sevilla’s Andre Silva has seven goals to his name and has every opportunity to add more to his tally against the struggling Barcelona defence.

History

Current form would say that Sevilla have the advantage, but the previous Barcelona-Sevilla results would tell you history is on Barca’s side. After all, the last time the Sevillistas won against the Catalans was three years ago.

Moreover, one has to go way back to 2010 to find Sevilla’s last win at Camp Nou. They have since played 12 more matches in the famed stadium since then, with Barca taking 11 wins and the other ending in a draw.

Betting Tip

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Barcelona vs Sevilla Correct Score Draw 2-2 @ 17.00
October 21, 02:45 (GMT+8)

The Barcelona-Sevilla odds put the hosts as heavy favourites, thanks to their unbeaten La Liga streak at home that has been running since 2016.  Not to mention the presence of Messi who has been spectacular for them.

However, I think this game will be a lot closer than what most expect. Barca’s defence remains a concern, and Sevilla have shown they can take advantage of every opportunity to score.

Goals are expected to come, but I’m predicting a draw this time—one which could well be 2-2 that pays 17.00 at SBOBET La Liga 2018 betting.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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