23 February 2019
A few days after being held to a goalless draw to Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League, Barcelona head towards the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to take on Sevilla in the biggest La Liga derby this weekend.
The hosts come into this meeting off the back of a comfortable 2-0 home win over Lazio in the Europa League that has propelled them to the round of 16. However, the Andalusians are not having the best of times in the domestic championship having struggled to wrap up all three points in their last three LL outings (D1, L2). Although still sitting fourth in the table, Los Hispalenses’ Champions League promotion is endangered by the likes of Getafe and Deportivo Alaves, who are lurking in the shadows. Poised to prevent a further downfall, Pablo Machin relies on the fact his men have secured seven wins in their last nine LL home meetings (W7, D2), scoring 2+ match goals seven times during the run. But, facing a team that hammered his side 6-1 less than a month ago seems like a daunting task for the former Girona manager. Sevilla can barely remember the last time they’ve managed to preserve a clean slate against Barcelona in La Liga at this venue, considering it dates back to 2003.
On the other hand, the visitors are not enjoying the purple patch having failed to pick up a victory in four of their last five games across all competitions (W1, D4). Atypically for the Catalans, they’ve struggled to score 2+ match goals in four consecutive meetings, failing to hit the net twice in the process. But, not only they arrive at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as the best road team in the Spanish top tier, but the Blaugrana also share the best attacking road record having bagged 22 goals on 11 LL road trips so far. Furthermore, no team has shipped fewer goals away from home than the Blaugrana (8), with Ernesto Valverde’s men keeping a clean sheet in five LL away clashes this term.
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