The fixtures continue to come thick and fast for Barcelona, with Xavi’s champions next in action on Friday night against Sevilla.
A sloppy showing in Mallorca on Tuesday saw the Catalan giants surrender points for the first time since the opening matchday and they were twice tasked with fighting back from a goal deficit. It was a game they should’ve won, but a couple of woeful defensive sequences meant they left with just a point.
They’ll now be looking to return to winning ways on home soil against a Sevilla side who picked up a feel-good 5-1 victory over Almeria in the week. After a poor start to the campaign, the Europa League holders have shown signs of returning to the form they displayed during the second half of last season over the past couple of weeks.
Here’s 90min’s preview of Barcelona’s upcoming La Liga duel.
Barcelona vs Sevilla H2H record (last five games)
Current form (last five competitive games)
TV channel/live stream
LaLigaTV, Viaplay UK, Viaplay Sports 1
ESPN Deportes, ESPN+, fuboTV, ESPN App
Xavi shuffled his pack on Tuesday night and we should see him revert to what you could say is his strongest XI with the players he has available on Friday.
Robert Lewandowski will replace Ferran Torres up top, while Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen could both come in at centre-back after Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez struggled in Mallorca. Oriol Romeu will likely keep his place in the starting XI for now, but Xavi could soon look to change his midfield dynamic if the Spaniard’s form continues to slump.
Pedri and Frenkie de Jong are notable absentees.
Barcelona predicted lineup vs Sevilla (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde; Romeu, Gundogan, Gavi; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Felix
The visitors have a long list of injuries, with each of their current absentees expected to return at various points in October.
Sevilla will be without Oliver Torres, Tanguy Nianzou, Mariano Diaz, Marcao, Marcos Acuna, and Alfonso Pastor for their trip to Catalonia.
José Luis Mendilibar may be tempted to include pantomime villain Sergio Romas in Friday’s XI given his history with Barcelona.
Sevilla predicted lineup vs Barca (4-2-3-1): Nyland; Navas, Bade, Ramos, Pedrosa; Sow, Fernando; Lamela, Rakitic, Lukebakio; En-Nesyri
Sevilla are starting to impress, although a victory over a shoddy Almeria outfit perhaps isn’t enough to suggest Mendilibar’s side are poised for a prosperous run of form.
Barcelona have so far had some struggles against deep-lying back fives, and while Sevilla will be happy to cede possession on Friday, they haven’t yet shown they’re defensively sound enough to withstand Barca’s mightily talented attack.
Nevertheless, Barca’s own defensive woes mean there could be goals at both ends of Friday night, although Xavi’s side should edge it.