La Liga contenders Barcelona host Sevilla in Ronald Koeman’s first big test as manager. The Blaugrana do have star quality in the squad but are in need of a major overhaul with pillars Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba all in their thirties. New signing Miralem Pjanic has also reached the milestone age.
Where and when: Camp Nou, Barcelona – 4 October, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Sevilla: LaLigaTV
Last time: The Andalusians kept Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at bay during the stalemate in June.
Barcelona v Sevilla Predictions and Preview
Barcelona got off to the perfect start under Koeman on Matchday 1 of the calendar. The Blaugrana thrashed Villarreal 4-0 and the Dutchman will have been relieved after a turbulent summer.
The European heavyweights were humiliated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and the 8-2 defeat was the final straw for Ballon d’Or holder Messi. The Barca all-time top scorer went public with his desire to leave the deposed La Liga holders and was reportedly on the verge of a switch to Manchester City to reunite with Pep Guardiola.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Ousmane Dembele to score last||6/1||Offer|
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|Barcelona to win 2-1||7/1||Offer|
Ultimately, the Argentine performed a U-turn and is available at 5/2 to open proceedings. The 33-year-old will be joined in attack by Antoine Griezmann, a reintegrated Philippe Coutinho and wonderkid Ansu Fati.
Koeman has been vocal in his support of Coutinho in particular and the Brazilian is expected to step up following the departure of Suarez. The playmaker memorably hit a brace against his parent club last season but is back playing in his preferred role and has already been influential with an assist in the drubbing of the Yellow Submarines. The former Liverpool fan favourite is 7/4 to register anytime and Barcelona are 8/15 to emerge triumphant.
Visitors Sevilla also made a successful start to the new campaign. The Europa League holders beat newly promoted Cadiz 3-1 with substitutes Luuk de Jong and Munir El Haddadi on the scoresheet. Returning hero Ivan Rakitic marked his second debut for the Andalusians with an equaliser and is 15/4 to notch anytime against his former team-mates.
De Jong is 4/1 to strike first and should displace Youssef En-Nesyri from the eleven. The burly hitman played a huge part in Sevilla lifting silverware last month and will link up with Suso and Lucas Ocampos in attack. The travelling party are 17/4 to claim victory on the night and the draw is 10/3.
One to watch for Barcelona: Griezmann is playing through the middle again after spending last term shunted out wide or on the sidelines. The World Cup winner is 9/2 to bag first.
One to watch for Sevilla: Ocampos struck on 15 occasions last year despite featuring largely from a wide left role. The well-travelled South American revels as the Andalusians’ talisman and is 7/2 to net anytime.
Long shot: Sevilla have momentum after a 16-game unbeaten league run that stretches back to mid-February and Julen Lopetegui deserves credit for rebuilding his career after his ill-fated spell with Spain. The Andalusians have one of the best centre-back pairings on the continent in Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde and will believe they can get something from the encounter. A 0-0 outcome is 16/1.