Key battles in Barca’s heavy-duty clash against Sevilla at Camp Nou
Sportsbet.io handpicks the gripping face-offs to expect from the La Liga’ match of the week.
Barcelona, who put their indifferent start to the 2019-20 season behind them with a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Inter Milan this midweek, gears up for a decisive La Liga fixture at home with the likes of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi hungry for goals.
Sevilla recovered from back-to-back league defeats with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad at home, and aim to make amends for the losses to the Blaugrana last term.
And, these marquee players are set to go head to head in a potential goal-fest.
SERGI ROBERTO v NOLITO
The Spaniard has been a versatile figure for the Blaugrana on the right flank and is a strong influencer to the team's goalscoring attempts. Given the club's injury crisis, first-choice right-back Nelson Semedo will operate as a left-back, and Roberto, who mostly acts as a valued substitute, will start against Sevilla and have the task of countering compatriot Nolito.
Known for his vicious play on the left-wing, Nolito has two goals in five games this term, and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui will bank on the experienced Spaniard to spell trouble for the opposing Sergi Roberto.
SERGIO BUSQUETS v EVER BANEGA
Busquets has been a commanding presence in Barcelona's midfield setup, with a clear eye at retaining possession and a composed persona during the club's attacking play. Ernesto Valverde will hand the veteran Spaniard the colossal task of trimming down the movement of Sevilla's Ever Banega.
A ball-playing defensive player, Banega's assists secured a come-from-behind win for Sevilla over a high-flying Real Sociedad, and the Argentine will fancy a quality 'engine room' battle with Busquets at the Camp Nou on Monday.
LIONEL MESSI v SERGIO REGUILON
The Barcelona icon completed his first 90 minutes of the season in the UEFA Champions League fixture against Inter Milan and has signaled his intention of being hungry for goals and victory. Messi netted a hat-trick in the last meeting with Sevilla and is favoured to register his first goals in La Liga this term.
Standing in his way will be Sergio Reguilon, on-loan from Real Madrid and one of the promising players for Sevilla this term. The left-back scored and assisted on his debut for Sevilla and has gone on to play out the entirety of five La Liga games so far. Reguilon has a gigantic task at hand to stop Messi’s prowess, but the youngster will surely take his chances to possibly halt the majestic play of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Words: William Paul