Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs. Sevilla | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona will be taking aim at the top of the La Liga table when they host Sevilla on Saturday night at Camp Nou. A win would vault Els Blaugrana past Los Sevillistas — and now, provisionally, Alavés too — and into the number one spot. The last time they squared off was in August, when Barça came out on top to hoist the Spanish Super Cup, meaning Sevilla will be looking for more than just to reclaim first place — they’ll also be in search of some good, old-fashioned revenge.
Squad announced to face Sevilla | FC Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde has named his squad, and it reads as follows: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Luis Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Rafinha, Cillessen, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Vidal and Chumi.
Ernesto Valverde: We’re looking to get back on top | FC Barcelona
“Sevilla are in good form and they have started the season well and started it early too. We have the challenge of reclaiming top spot,” explained Ernesto Valverde in his pre-game press conference ahead of Saturday’s 8.45pm CEST kick off against Sevilla at Camp Nou. The Barça boss is only too aware of the danger posed by Pablo Machín’s side: “They are in good form and they can rotate players. They have options and they are ready for anything.”
Barcelona’s Luis Suarez available but club faces injuries on defence ahead of tough stretch | ESPN
Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto are fit for Barcelona’s triple-header against Sevilla, Inter Milan and Real Madrid this week but they still have problems in the middle of defence. Samuel Umtiti remains sidelined for the foreseeable future with a knee problem, while Thomas Vermaelen will miss the next six weeks with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty with Belgium.
Barcelona have no plans to re-sign Neymar, says vice-president Jordi Cardoner | Sky Sports
Neymar won two La Liga titles and the 2015 Champions League over four years at Barcelona and formed a lethal partnership with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. He left in July 2017 after the PSG exercised his release clause - paying a world record fee of £198m - but Barcelona have ruled out a return for Neymar.
Only mental patients doubt Messi’s talents, says Kempes | Goal
Argentina legend Mario Kempes has jumped to Lionel Messi’s defence after the Barcelona star came in for criticism from another of the country’s World Cup heroes, Diego Maradona. Messi, Kempes and Maradona have all spearheaded the Albiceleste’s journey to at least one World Cup final.