La Liga Game of the Week Preview – Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona

Sevilla are looking to hold on to the last Champions League spot in Spain. The top three spots have seemingly always gone to Barcelona and the two big Madrid clubs, and they are nearly guaranteed to snatch three of the four spots once again. That has left a congested race for the final spot, and this year’s race has been incredibly tight. Sevilla have been in the top four for most of the year, but there are 10 clubs within eight points of them and two teams sit just a single point behind. Unless they manage to upset Barcelona this weekend, they are likely to fall behind.

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Sevilla FC vs. FC Barcelona

  • Date and Time: February 23, 2019, 10:15 a.m. ET
  • Location: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Sevilla, Spain
  • US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
  • Betting Line: Barcelona -0.5, O/U 3 and 3.5
Soccer Sports Betting

Recent Form

The visitors are in a familiar position. Barcelona are at the top of the table with 54 points, and they are seven points up on second-place Atletico Madrid in their bid to win their fourth title in five years. They haven’t been too impressive over the last few weeks though. The Blaugrana have managed to score just two goals in their last four matches, and that has shrunk their lead in La Liga and put them in a precarious spot in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

As for Sevilla, they are certainly happy after moving into the Europa League Round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Lazio on Wednesday. However, they have faltered domestically, and that has led to the hosts squandering a once commanding lead. Sevilla have now picked up just one point in their last three La Liga matches, and they lost to bottom of the table Villarreal and Celta Vigo and drew at home with Eibar.

This will be the fifth meeting between these two clubs this season. Barcelona have won three of the previous four clashes and have knocked Sevilla out of two competitions with their wins. A 2-1 win over Sevilla at the start of the year gave Barca the Spanish SuperCup, and a 6-1 win in Camp Nou led to an aggregate win in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. The Blaugrana also defeated Sevilla 4-2 in their first La Liga tilt back in mid-October.

Key Absences

Nolito is expected to miss at least one more month for the side of Sevilla after breaking a bone in his leg in early January. Sergio Escudero, Aleix Vidal Parreu, and Jesus Navas are questionable to play in this one, while Maxime Gonalons and Joris Gnagnon are listed as probable.

Rafinha tore his ACL in mid-November and won’t return this season for Barcelona. Arthur and Jasper Cillessen are both going to miss a few more weeks with leg injuries, and Thomas Vermaelen is questionable to play.

Matchup to Watch

The possible return of Gonalons would be huge for Sevilla. He is one of the better defensive midfielders in La Liga, and he could potentially frustrate a Barcelona attack that has had some issues. It’s hard to imagine Sevilla totally keeping Barca off the board given their talent, but they should limit them more than they have in the past.

Spanish La Liga Free Picks

A grueling schedule may finally be wearing on Barcelona. The Blaugrana are a veteran club at this point, and some of their stars may be exhausted after a long season with no real breaks due to the World Cup and all of their competitions. My favorite bet here is the under, and I see Barca winning too.

Spanish La Liga Prediction: FC Barcelona 2, Sevilla FC 0

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