The Spanish football season officially starts this Sunday with the traditional curtain-raiser. However there is a change in format to this year’s Supercopa. Instead of the usual two-legged tie with matches played at each team’s home stadium, it will be a one-off game and it will take place in the Moroccan city of Tangier.
While it’s only around 200km from Seville to the North African city, the typically late decision by the Spanish Federation to play this game as a one-off fixture on neutral turf has angered Sevilla. They’d originally included what would have been a home 1st Leg in season packages for their members but from a playing perspective, it’s at least one fewer game on a busy early season calendar. They are currently involved in Europa League qualifying but will still name a strong team here as they seek more silverware.
This is of course a rematch of the Copa del Rey Final from last season which Barcelona won in the most convincing fashion. Andres Iniesta put in a parting masterclass as Barca cruised to a 5-0 victory against the hapless Andalusians to seal the first leg of yet another domestic double.
Plenty has changed at both clubs since then. Iniesta has of course moved on while Barcelona have been active in the transfer market even if their top targets have eluded them. Brazilians Malcom and Arthur have arrived over the summer and have both impressed in pre-season. Arturo Vidal has also joined to add some steel in midfield and Barca’s squad looks to have more depth to it although their preferred starting eleven isn’t much different now to what it was a few months ago.
These two clubs have also been involved in a bit of transfer negotiation this summer. French defender Clement Lenglet has joined the Catalan giants from Sevilla while Aleix Vidal has moved the other way to re-join his old club. Vidal is likely to fit well into new Sevilla boss Pablo Machin’s plans given how important attacking wing-backs were in his successful Girona side last term.
Sevilla have played some pretty mediocre opponents in Europe so far and this game will give us a good idea of how they are likely to shape up this term under the new boss. They do have a slight advantage here though in terms of match sharpness given they’ve had three competitive outings already this term while Barcelona are still in the process of nursing players back to fitness following the World Cup.
Barcelona vs Sevilla Predictions
Score Prediction: 2-2 Draw
Certainly we can expect a much stronger showing from Sevilla here than in the Copa del Rey Final. Their extra match sharpness could be a factor and this is at the end of the day a big game with one of the three major trophies in Spanish football on offer. Barcelona haven’t impressed in pre-season, not winning any of their three matches in the International Champions Cup inside 90 minutes. They will have a stronger team out here but it will consist mostly of players who simply aren’t match fit yet and Sevilla are well capable of taking this beyond 90 minutes.
Betting Tip: Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score
Goals look likely here. Pablo Machin is an attack-minded coach and didn’t shy away from sending his Girona team out with a positive mentality even against the top sides last term. With better players at his disposal, he should be even bolder and this has the potential to develop into an end-to-end game. With Samuel Umtiti likely to be given extra rest having played in the World Cup Final, Barca could be more vulnerable in defence than usual too and we should see goals.
- Barcelona have won the Spanish Super Cup 12 times, more than any other team.
- However they lost both legs against Real Madrid in last year’s Super Cup.
- Sevilla have only won it once in 2007 (losing twice in 2010 and 2016).
- Barca have only lost 2 of their last 47 games in domestic competitions.
- Sevilla have scored in every game they’ve played since losing 5-0 to Barca in last season’s Copa del Rey Final.
Head to Head
Barcelona have enjoyed the better of the recent meetings, winning 5 of the last 6. As well as the Copa del Rey win, they beat Sevilla easily in the Spanish Super Cup two years ago.
Barcelona Team News:
New boys Arthur and Malcom are likely to feature for Barcelona. They’ve given most of their World Cup contingent extended breaks so this could be the first real outing of the new campaign for the likes of Leo Messi and Luis Suarez.
Sevilla Team News:
Sevilla could rotate slightly following their Europa League win on Thursday. Pablo Sarabia is one man that is likely to be drafted in while Aleix Vidal is expected to start up against his old team.