High-flying Sevilla aim to claim another major scalp after beating Real Madrid in their last home fixture, while Barcelona hope to continue the five-match winning run. With both sides playing attractive attacking football at the moment, the fans at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan should be in for premium entertainment.
Sevilla on fire
Sevilla have long been considered one of top sides in Spain’s top flight, but los Rojiblancos have been struggling to fulfill their potential of late. Numerous changes to the playing squad every summer did little to help team’s cause, but it appears the club officials have finally hit the nail on the head. Without disrupting the harmony of the squad, new players have added a new quality to the side and Sevilla have finally found some consistency. Los Rojiblancos did really well to bring four points from three away games, while home wins over Getafe and Real Madrid proved the team are a real force to be reckoned with at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The hosts now face the ultimate task of trying to beat arguably the world’s best team, but they can be forgiven for felling optimistic ahead of the clash with Barca considering their latest results.
Juan Antonio Reyes is back in contention after recovering from injury, but he will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Five out of five
Barcelona were always going to be stronger than last season after David Villa returned from injury and Alex Song and Jordi Alba arrived in the summer, but nobody could predict the Catalans would be eight points clear of Real Madrid after just five La Liga rounds. Tito Vilanova’s side did their part of the bargain by winning all five league fixtures, but even though their arch rivals are well behind, the team need to continue in the same manner as sides like Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Sevilla are breathing down their neck. Barcelona experienced some unexpected problems last time out as they needed 87 minutes to break determined Granada at Camp Nou and with Sevilla extremely hard to beat at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the Catalans will need to be at their best in order to win this game.
Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique remain sidelined, while Andres Iniesta will start on bench after suffering a hamstring strain.
Sevilla are on top of their game at the moment and after beating Real Madrid at home they can be trusted to make life difficult for Barcelona as well. The Catalans are not really playing to their potential at the moment and have some important missings, so the best they can do here is record a narrow win.
Our prediction: Sevilla with +1.25 Asian handicap
Odds: 1.77 (7/9)