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Sevilla logo
La Liga | Gameweek 38
May 26, 2024 at 8pm UK
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Barcelona logo

1 - 2

En-Nesyri (31')
Salas (36'), Ocampos (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lewandowski (15'), Lopez (59')
Cancelo (49')

Preview: Sevilla vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Sevilla and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In what will be the final match of Xavi's tumultuous reign, Barcelona close out the 2023-24 La Liga season against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Sunday night.

La Blaugrana's second-placed finish has already been rubber-stamped ahead of the gameweek 38 fixture, while their hosts have been condemned to a bottom-half placement.

Match preview

Sevilla coach Quique Sanchez Flores before the match on January 25, 2024© Reuters

A far cry from the Sevilla teams of old, the current iteration of Los Palanganas cannot force themselves into top-10 contention in the final gameweek of the campaign but have at least expelled thoughts of a disastrous demotion to the second tier.

The sinking Sevilla ship has been steadied by Quique Sanchez Flores since the turn of the calendar year, as taking 13 points from 15 on offer from March 30 to May 5 propelled Sunday's hosts out of the relegation dogfight, but they are not ending the season with a flourish.

Indeed, Los Palanganas welcome Barcelona to their base on a three-game losing sequence in the top division, going down to Villarreal, relegated Cadiz and most recently Athletic Bilbao, shipping two early goals to Raul Garcia and Iker Muniain against the latter and failing to recover.

Consequently, Sevilla languish in 13th spot in the standings and can only rise as high as 11th this weekend, but they could also be demoted as low as 15th; 16th-placed Rayo Vallecano are three points worse off but are no threat to Los Palanganas thanks to the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Before banishing thoughts of the 2023-24 campaign to the back of their mind, Sevilla at least seek to stretch a promising spell of home form which has seen Flores's men win four of their last six at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan - defeating Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid in that sequence - while also benefitting from Barca's off-field turmoil.

FC Barcelona coach Xavi looks on on May 16, 2024© Reuters

After pulling out all the stops to convince Xavi to stay on as head coach, following months of affirmations from the 44-year-old that nothing could make him change his mind about leaving, president Joan Laporta has now pulled the trigger on the legendary Blaugrana midfielder after all.

Supposedly angering the president with comments made about Barca's financial situation and title chances, Xavi will soon be handing the chalice to Hansi Flick - who is said to have reached a verbal agreement with the 2022-23 La Liga champions - after taking charge of Sunday's dead rubber for his side.

Any outside interference must of course be blocked out by the Blaugrana boys, who will claim the silver medal this season and have won their last three La Liga contests without conceding, besting Real Sociedad, Almeria and Rayo Vallecano over the past fortnight to end the campaign as they mean to start 2024-25.

Speaking of three-match winning sequences, Barcelona boast such a streak in away La Liga games versus Andalusian teams - keeping clean sheets in their last two - and recent results against fallen titans Sevilla speak for themselves too.

Indeed, Xavi's men have come up trumps in each of their last four La Liga matches against Sevilla without conceding a single goal, meaning that an undesired club record could be broken for Sunday's hosts, who have never failed to score in five straight top-flight games with their Catalonian counterparts.

Sevilla La Liga form:

Barcelona La Liga form:

Team News

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Even though Sevilla's ranks will be slightly strengthened by the return of Boubakary Soumare from suspension, three starters from the Athletic loss - Jesus Navas, Lucas Ocampos and Marcos Acuna - were unable to train fully during the week for various reasons.

Ocampos (illness) and Acuna (precaution) should be fine for Sunday, but both Navas and Suso are uncertain due to muscular fatigue, while Oliver Torres (shoulder), Isaac Romero (hamstring), Djibril Sow (foot), Erik Lamela (knee) and Nemanja Gudelj (knee) are all absent.

Navas - who signed a lifetime contract with the club just days after announcing his exit at the end of the season - could be replaced by Juanlu Sanchez if he is not passed fit for the final day, while long-time Barcelona nemesis Sergio Ramos is still going strong at 38 too.

As for Xavi's side, it is as you were on the fitness front, as Alejandro Balde (hamstring), Gavi (ACL) and Frenkie de Jong (ankle) are all still in the recovery phase and are not available for the final match of the season.

Nevertheless, a few changes have been mooted, including the possible inclusion of Inaki Pena in goal for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, as Barca's number one is now no longer capable of catching Athletic's Unai Simon at the top of the clean sheet charts.

Andreas Christensen could also come back into his defensive midfield role in place of Sergi Roberto - a change that occurred at half time against Vallecano - while Pedri's brace off the bench last time out could be his ticket to a start over Fermin Lopez.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Nyland; Salas, Bade, Ramos; Sanchez, Soumare, Agoume, Acuna; Lukebakio, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Pena; Kounde, Cubarsi, Martinez, Cancelo; Pedri, Christensen, Gundogan; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

SM words green background

We say: Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona

Barcelona's nine clean sheets from their last 12 La Liga matches is as many as Xavi's men had managed in their previous 30, and that record should read 10 from 13 by the close of play on Sunday.

Ravaged by injuries and ending the season with a whimper, Sevilla should not put up much resistance against an in-form Blaugrana crop, who should give Xavi the perfect send-off.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS

Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands21104
2 France France21104
3 Austria Austria21013
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

1 Romania Romania21013
2 Belgium Belgium21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Ukraine Ukraine21013

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal22006
2 Turkey Turkey21013
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic20111
4 Georgia Georgia20111

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