This has been a year full of ups and downs for Sevilla. The club had one of its best seasons ever in European play, making it to the Champions League Quarterfinals and giving Bayern Munich a run for its money. However, a return to the Champions League is no longer in the cards and even a return to Europe is doubtful with the team currently in seventh place in La Liga.
Grabbing a major trophy would make the year a smashing success though. It would be Sevilla’s first Copa del Rey since 2010 and the victory would give the club a spot in the Europa League. The one trick is they have to beat Barcelona, the club that has dominated the Copa del Rey in recent years.
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FC Barcelona vs. Sevilla FC
Date and Time: April 21, 2018, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
US Television Coverage: ESPNEWS
Betting Line: FC Barcelona -1 and -1.5, O/U 3
Barcelona is out to win its fourth straight Copa del Rey title. The Blaugrana were shockingly dismissed from the Champions League after an incredible comeback by Roma, yet they are in good position to win two major trophies. They are the favorites coming into this match and could lock up La Liga over the weekend too. Barcelona is just five matches away from finishing the year undefeated in league play.
As for Sevilla, it has been a while since the club has tasted victory in La Liga. They are winless over their last six and that has led to both Real Betis and Villarreal passing them in the standings. Sevilla got to the final by beating Atletico Madrid and Leganes. Beating Leganes was no small feat either, as the club had already bounced Villarreal and Real Madrid from the cup.
Three weeks ago, Sevilla had Barcelona dead to rights. Sevilla looked set to give Barcelona their first loss of the year, taking a 2-0 lead early in the second half. However, despite numerous chances, they were unable to grab what would have been a backbreaking third goal.
That gave Barcelona a window, and the club took full advantage of the chance. Lionel Messi didn’t start, but he came on at halftime to try to salvage Barca’s unbeaten season. The Blaugrana looked more dangerous once he came on the pitch and finally capitalized near the end of the half.
Luis Suarez halved the lead after a nice touch off of a corner, and it was Messi himself who saved the unbeaten season. He latched onto a ball at the edge of the box, scoring in the 89th minute to grab a 2-2 draw.
Barcelona looks to be relatively healthy coming into this match. Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, and Messi have all suffered knocks over the last few weeks, but all three men are expected to play for the club in this one. Additionally, it looks like Ivan Rakitic will be back in the line-up as well after missing a couple games with a broken finger, and Lucas Digne could start at left back.
The news on the injury front is even better for Sevilla. Center back Simon Kjaer seems to be ready to return to the starting eleven, meaning the only player on the sidelines will be right back Sebastien Corchia who has been out since January with a groin injury.
Copa del Rey Final Free Picks
Sevilla have played Barcelona tough this year. Barca has not been able to impose their will against them like they have so many other teams, giving the draw quite a bit of value at this price. Taking Sevilla on the goal line is a shrewd move as well.
Copa del Rey Final Prediction: Barcelona 2, Sevilla 1 (in extra time)
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