*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 8
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Clément Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Carles Aleñá, Moussa Wagué (out)
Sevilla Outs & Doubts: Daniel Carriço (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Premier Sports 1 (UK), Not Available (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
How to stream: FuboTV (USA), beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), Facebook Live (India), Premier Player (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), others
Following a strong second half performance and a big Champions League victory against Inter Milan in midweek, Barcelona return to action in La Liga for their first Sunday night match of the season, which is usually when the marquee matchups take place in the Spanish top flight. This is the first real test at home in the domestic schedule for Barça, and one they must pass.
The international break is upon us, and it’s imperative to avoid two weeks of doubts and questions for this team. The start of the season was ultra inconsistent, but the last three wins in a row against Villarreal, Getafe and Inter showed some good signs about the potential of this side, and if they can get somewhat healthy and Ernesto Valverde allows these plays to express themselves, then we could be looking at a really good team after the break.
But Sunday won’t be easy. Sevilla have the best away record in the division and Julen Lopetegui is doing a solid job in his first three months on the job. His team is solid across the board, although a 3-2 loss to Eibar followed by a 3-2 win against Real Sociedad in the last two games show they are a bit vulnerable right now.
Lionel Messi is healthy, Luis Suárez is on fire, Antoine Griezmann looks more comfortable, Ansu Fati may come off the bench, Arturo Vidal may start and make runs into the box, and Jordi Alba could be back to make his crazy runs up and down the left flank. If Sevilla are there for the taking, Barça should be ready to pounce.
Just don’t tell them to “control the game”, Valverde. We have really good attackers who should attack all the time. It is what it is.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Todibo, Alba; Vidal, De Jong, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Sevilla (4-3-3): Vaclik; Navas, D. Carlos, Koundé, Reguilón; Banega, Fernando, Jordán; Ocampos, De Jong, Nolito
Best home team against best away team? This screams a scored draw, but Barça have Messi and he LOVES beating Sevilla: 3-1 to the good guys.