Barcelona, Sevilla aim for second trophy of season in Cup final (Preview)

Madrid, May 21 (IANS) Both FC Barcelona and Sevilla have the chance to end the season on a high note when they face each other in the Spanish Kings Cup final in the Vicente Calderon Stadium here on Sunday.

La Liga champions Barcelona will go into the final as favourites against Sevilla, who on Wednesday claimed their third successive Europa League crown with a 3-1 win over Liverpool, reports Xinhua.

Barcelona have had all week to prepare for the game, while Sevilla’s match on Wednesday was followed by celebrations on Thursday, meaning that Unai Emery’s men only began to prepare for the match on Friday.

This will be the second final the two sides have played this season after they kicked off the campaign with a 5-4 thriller which saw Barcelona win the European Supercup back in August.

It won’t be the last time they play a final either as Barcelona’s league title means they are destined to meet in the Spanish Supercup at the start of the next season as well.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique will play the side which helped them win the last five games of the season, scoring 24 goals without conceding. Javier Mascherano, who was forced to limp out of the last game of the season, has recovered from a slight injury and will partner Gerard Pique in defence.

Meanwhile Lionel Messi, La Liga’s top scorer Luis Suarez and Neymar will lead the Barcelona attack ahead of a midfield comprising Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and former Sevilla player Ivan Rakitic, who has said he will not celebrate if he scores against the side which “has a place” in his heart.

Sevilla coach Unai Emery will bring Sergio Rico back in goal for the Cup final, while he is forced to make at least one change in defence as Timothee Kolodziejczak is suspended.

Barcelona will feel their fresher legs should make them favourites to complete an impressive double on Sunday, but Sevilla fans will be hoping the morale from Wednesday’s European triumph will help them forget their tiredness for another 90 minutes.

–IANS

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