Sevilla vs Barcelona: The Duel of Two Argentinean Stars
The former Marseille man, Lucas Ocampos, has become a new key figure in Andalusian side since his arrival in January. This versatile winger has been irreplacable in Sevilla’s starting IX with the impressive form and contribution. This Friday, he will be leading the team against the top leader, Barcelona led by their Argentinean-born living legend, Lionel Messi. It will be a clash of two wingers who have not had a chance yet to play in one team in major competitions.
Lucas Ocampos and Co were unfortunate to fail in securing three points while travelling to Levante. Their one-goal lead by Luuk De Jong’s striker was eventually equalised by Diego Carlos’s accidental own goal before the final whistle.
Blaugrana, on the other hand, endured their positive trend as they dismantled Leganes 2-0. Their youngster who was given the opportunity in the starting IX, Ansu Fati, opened the scoresheet and Messi doubled their lead by his penalty at the second half.
Missing players and probable lineups
Julen Lopetegui, who once played for the Catalan side, tends to employ his former club’s favorite 4-3-3 formation this season. Lucas Ocampos will accompany Luuk de Jong and the former Barcelona man, Munir El-Haddadi as the front three. His squad is fully fit with nobody is on injury table.
Sevilla: Tomas Vaclik; Diego Carlos, Sergio Reguilon, Jesus Navas, Jules Kounde; Ever Banega, Joan Jordan, Oliver Torres; Munir El-Haddadi, Luuk de Jong, Lucas Ocampos
Quique Setien tends to opt for 4-3-3. As Suarez is fully recovered, he is likely to play him along with Messi and Griezmann as Barca’s best trident this season. However, considering the need of pace, Ansu Fati is the best option to accompany Messi-Griezmann. Sadly, there are a number of players will ber ruled out due to injury (Sergi Roberto, Frankie De Jong and Ousmane Dembele) and suspension (Samuel Umtiti and Sergio Busquets plus possibly Arturo Vidal). Thus, considering the limited option in the midfield, employing 4-2-3-1 seems to be more suitable as they have more surplus on the attacking side with Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite available on the bench.
Barcelona: Marc Ter-Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Junior Firpo; Ivan Rakitic, Artur Melo; Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann; Luis Suarez.
In the head-to-head encounters, Blaugrana is still the dominant side with six wins and one draw while Sevilla managed to win once in the last eight meetings. Yet, Jesus Navas and Co have always been the tricky one.
The visit to Ramon Sanchez-Pijzuan has always been daunting for Messi and Co despite their positive record. This time they do have to be more careful regarding their midfield crisis. Yet, Quique Setien’s men need to keep winning to avoid the head-to-head consideration with their archrival if Barca can only snatch one poin on the road.
Where to watch
International TV channels:
FuboTV, BeIN Sports Connect(USA), DAZN (Austria, Germany, Italy), Eleven Sports 1 (Portugal), C More Play (Sweden) TV2 Play (Denmark) Strive Sport (Norway), BeIN Sports Connect (France), Sportsbox.ru (Russia), Digi Sports GO (Czech Rep)