Injuries a factor as Barcelona travel to Seville (Preview)

Seville (Spain), Oct 2 (IANS) Although nobody can predict how their La Liga game will end on Saturday, one thing that is certain is that if one looks at the injuries that have affected Sevilla and FC Barcelona, the two sides are almost on level terms.

The game sees the two finalists of this season’s European Supercup, which Barcelona won 5-4, go head to head once again. Champions Barcelona travel to Sevilla without three key players though injury, reports Xinhua.

The loss of defender Rafinha, striker Leo Messi and midfielder Andres Iniesta severely weakens Barcelona’s attacking power and coach Luis Enrique will have to either consider playing an extra man in midfield, or continuing with youngsters Munir or Sandro Ramirez in his side.

Both played well in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in a Champions League match on Tuesday, but that game made it clear that attack is not their only worry as they looked tentative in defence and sluggish in midfield, something Sevilla will look to exploit, while at the same time keeping an eye on star goal scorers Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Sevilla coach Unai Emery was without nine players in his side’s Champions League defeat away to Italian club Juventus. Forwards Fernando Llorente and Vitolo should be fit for Saturday, although others such as Beto, Adil Rami, Dani Carrico and playmaker Ever Banega will still be sidelined.

Llorente will pose a potent threat to the Barcelona defence from set pieces and that could see either Jeremy Matheiu or Marc Bartra partner Gerard Pique in defence, while Claudio Bravo has a good chance of returning in goal after missing the start of the season through injury.

Sevilla need to take three points from their second consecutive league game at home to begin climbing away from the relegation zone, while Enrique knows that his side has struggled without Messi and that questions are bound to be asked of them once again if they fail to win in the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

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