Come Saturday, October 20, attention of many soccer lovers across the globe will be on Camp Nou, as FC Barcelona host Sevilla. Here are five players to watch out for.
Clement Lenglet. The centre-back moved from Sevilla to Barcelona in the summer, with the latter activating his release clause in order to get him. He has been Barça’s third-choice centre-back so far, but could play in this game due to an injury to Samuel Umtiti.
Tomas Vaclik. This Czech goalkeeper has had an excellent start to his Sevilla career and has been in fine form since joining the club in the summer. Away at the champions he’ll surely be a busy man and his hands could be key to determining the result.
Jesús Navas. Sevilla’s right-wing-back is one of their most important players, both in defence and in attack. Already this season he has provided four assists in the league and his battle on the flank against Jordi Alba will be one to watch.
Lionel Messi. How can Messi not be a player to look out for? The Argentine is playing as well as ever and already has six goals this LaLiga Santander season. He has netted 31 times against Sevilla during his career, more goals than he has against any other club.
Wissam Ben Yedder. If Sevilla are to get on the scoresheet, then Wissam Ben Yedder could be the man turning the ball in. He is his team’s joint-top scorer, alongside Pablo Sarabia, this season and has scored seven in his past six.
Five historic match-ups between Barca and Sevilla
1945/46 LaLiga Matchday 26. On the 26th and final round of the 1945/46 league season, Sevilla travelled to Barcelona with a one-point advantage over the Catalan club. Barça had to win to take the title, but Sevilla earned a 1-1 draw to win their one and only league championship.
1989/90 LaLiga Matchday 17. Barcelona and Sevilla played out a thriller midway through the 1989/90 season, with the Andalusian side going to the Camp Nou and winning 4-3, thanks to goals from Toni Polster, José Carvajal and Ignacio Conte in the final 10 minutes.
2009/10 LaLiga Matchday 37. In Pep Guardiola’s second season at Barcelona, the Blaugrana visited the Estadio Sánchez Pizjuan on the penultimate matchday and secured a vital three points, winning 3-2 thanks to goals from Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Pedro, ultimately lifting the league trophy the following week.
2015/16 UEFA Super Cup. So many of the meetings between this weekend’s rivals have produced goals, as was the case when they met in the 2015 UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi. The scores were locked at 4-4 at full-time, with Yevhen Konoplyanka having netted a late equaliser. The game went into extra time, where substitute Pedro scored the winner to make it 5-4 and to claim the trophy for his side.
2015/16 Copa del Rey final. The two teams met again in another final at the end of that 2015/16 season. This time they played in the final of the Copa del Rey at the Estadio Vicente Calderón in Madrid. Despite a first-half red card for Javier Mascherano, goals from Jordi Alba and Neymar in extra time made it a 2-0 victory for Barcelona.