Prediction

Sevilla Sevilla FC vs. FC Barcelona Barcelona

Sunday, March 13th 2011, 21.00 CET

 

Every game of Barcelona is a true delight to watch, really. I did watch their last game against Arsenal on Tuesday (Barca won 3-1 on Camp Nou), and what a match that was! So I could skip this one… But I can’t miss out on at least a bet when such teams go head to head.

 

Although they had quite a fight against Arsenal on Tuesday, this doesn’t mean Barcelona will fight as strong against Sevilla. The match was only 5 days ago, so a lot of Barca’s players need some rest. This is why I wouldn’t go with a specific team in this game. But maybe the following analysis might help you make your pick.

 

SevillaSevilla FC, although they started poorly this season in La Liga, they’re traditionally one of the Spanish teams with European aspirations. They won the UEFA cup 2 times in a row (and quite recently) between 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. And they’re squad is truly international: out of their 26 players, only 9 are Spanish.

 

However, despite their previous honours, this season is not something to be proud of: they failed to get into the group stages of Champions League (lost 3-5 to the Portuguese from Braga) and they’re on the 8th position in La Liga. That’s not going to get them to play in Europe next season! Surely the coach Gregorio Manzano is aware of this and he’s doing his best to remediate the situation. And he could do so, to be honest: he’s got quality players at his disposal, like Frederic Kanoute, Jesus Navas or Luis Fabiano.

 

Overall, there is a clear difference between Sevilla FC this season and the same team last season. In 2009-2010 they barely managed to end on 4th place, and they lost a lot of players over the summer. Jose Angel Crespo, Adriano, Prieto and Tom de Mul are some of them. They also brought in some players, but as we can see from their current performance, they don’t really match the old team.

 

Let’s look at the players now:

  • Luis Fabiano: some newspapers report that he already played his last game for the Andalusians and he’s ready to go home to play for Sao Paulo. But maybe, and I hope this as well, he’ll be used today, since Sevilla really needs his talent if they want to earn any point. Maybe playing alongside Frederic Kanoute would be a good strategy.
  • Andres Palop, Sevilla’s goalkeeper is doubful ahead of tonight’s game. And without their main goalkeeper, it would be suicide against the quick Barca attack.
  • Diego Perotti, Sevilla’s midfielder is another doubtful player for tonight’s game.

BarcelonaFC Barcelona, now there’s nothing to say here that hasn’t been said before. One of the best teams in the world, and coached by one of the best coach in the world, Barcelona are currently leaders of La Liga. They have a comfortable cushon of 7 points difference from the 2nd placed Real Madrid, but they should know better not to sit comfortably on it for the rest of the season. If they win here in Sevilla, then in Villareal and finally in Madrid, Guardiola’s team will finish first this season.

Barcelona come after a great match on Camp Nou against Arsenal on Tuesday, March 8th. They won the game 3-1 and overturned the score set in England of 2-1. They’re now in the quarter finals of the Champions League and from what they’ve been playing this season, there’s a big chance that they’ll bring the cup to Spain. But they had to fight for that result against the British, and now they’re really tired. They can’t go full force against Sevilla tonight.

Unlike Sevilla, Barcelona acquired some real talent this summer, most notably David Villa from Valencia, whose transfer has really paid off so far this season. Then there’s Adriano, whom Barcelona bought from Sevilla and it’s likely that we see him for the first time tonight playing against his former team. It’s not at all a bed of roses for the Catalans though: they lost Thiery Henry, Rafael Marquez and Toure. All in all, personally I think Barcelona won’t be missing them too much tonight.

There are other problems as well for the Catalans: apart from the team’s fatigue following the challenging Champions League game, a lot of Barcelona’s top players were away on international duty this week and will most probably not be used tonight. The list includes: Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. And if these players might not be used, let’s see who will certainly not appear tonight:

  • Jose Manuel Pinto, Barcelona’s goalkeeper is out with a thigh injury. The team will most probably go with Victor Valdes, who’s just returned from his vacation
  • Several Spanish top players, who served this week for the international team, might be allowed to rest, although I’m not sure who.

I’m not sure who to go with in this game. I wouldn’t risk going with one team or the other, so I’m going to bet on the number of goals scored. Since in the past 4 games played between these two teams there have been 4 or more goals, I’m going to go with Over 3.5 goals for 3 units on Bwin at 2.35 odds.

Over 3.5 goals for 3 units

 

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