Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2018-19 Copa del Rey, Quarterfinals, 1st Leg
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Samper, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, Rafinha (out)
Sevilla Outs & Doubts: Maxime Gonalons, Nolito, Joris Gnagnon, Munir (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 9.30pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8.30pm GMT (UK), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 2am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
Following a very good win against Leganés at the weekend, Barcelona return to action with the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal tie against Sevilla, away from home at the historically tough Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. These two teams last faced in the Copa in last season’s Final, with Barça putting on an all-time great performance and absolutely destroying the Rojiblancos 5-0 in what ended up being Andrés Iniesta’s last Final as a Blaugrana.
Now they will face twice in a week, and you can bet that Barça won’t have it easy this time. Sevilla have a much stronger identity and better players than last season’s team, and they get to play at home this time, where they always love to make it tough for Barça. The Blaugrana will play the first leg without Lionel Messi, which is somewhat of a gamble from Ernesto Valverde.
The absence of Messi could give an opportunity for new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng to make his debut, though, and maybe Prince will make some doves cry and give Barça a reason to go crazy.
If you didn’t get any of the references I just made, you live a sad life.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Cillessen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Arthur; Malcom, Suárez, Coutinho
Sevilla (3-5-2): Vaclik; Kjaer, Carriço, Gómez; Navas, Sarabia, Banega, Vázquez, Escudero; André Silva, Ben Yedder
I have awful feelings about this game, especially without Messi: 3-1 Sevilla. Sorry.