Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2020-21 Copa del Rey, Semi-Finals, Leg 1
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Sergiño Dest, Miralem Pjanic, Martin Braithwaite (out)
Sevilla Outs & Doubts: Jesús Navas, Lucas Ocampos, Marcos Acuña, Óscar Rodríguez (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: Premier Sports 2 (UK), Startimes Sports Life (Nigeria), TeleCinco (Spain), ESPN Brasil (Brazil), others
How to stream: ESPN+ (USA), Premier Player (UK), others
Following a thrilling win over Real Betis to extend their unbeaten streak in La Liga, Barcelona turn their attentions back to the Copa del Rey as they travel to Seville for the semi-final first leg against Sevilla.
Barça come into this one on the back of two amazing comebacks, one at Betis last Sunday and the one before that was memorable away to Granada, which set up this semi-final with the Rojiblancos. Barça are showing a fighting spirit that we’ve simply not seen from this team in a very long time, and even though the performances aren’t up there with the best teams in the world, we know the Blaugrana will not give up.
But sometimes, even the best fighting spirit can’t overcome too much adversity. And that’s what the Blaugrana will face on Wednesday, with eight first team players missing through injury and just 13 senior outfield players available, all of them seemignly running on empty thanks to an insane schedule and four extra time periods played in the last three weeks.
Facing an in-form Sevilla team with all of those problems just one week away from a huge Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain might just be too big a test for this team. But maybe, just maybe, their never say die attitude will carry them to a big result that will give them a shot ahead of the second leg in three weeks.
All you can hope for is no more injuries, a solid enough performance and a good enough result for a team that’s definitely growing on fans. Not necessarily for their eye-catching quality, but for their heartwarming spirit.
Let’s dance, boys.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, De Jong, Umtiti, Alba; Puig, Busquets, Pedri; Trincão, Messi, Griezmann
Sevilla (4-3-3): Bono; Vidal, Koundé, D. Carlos, Rekik; Rakitic, Gudelj, Jordán; Suso, De Jong, Munir
I’m really worried about all the injuries and how tired this team is, and you’ve gotta think the players are at least somewhat thinking about PSG just one week away, so I can’t see Barça winning though I still think they give themselves a chance for the second leg: 2-1 Sevilla.