Copa del Rey: Will Barcelona’s Defensive Struggles Continue Against Sevilla?
To look at the fixture schedule in La Liga and not see either Barcelona or Real Madrid is somewhat underwhelming, but that’s because the former are in action in the Copa del Rey final this Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET).
The league leaders face Sevilla and are aiming to lift their first trophy under Ernesto Valverde with a double very much on the cards, even if dreams of the treble disappeared after an unforgettable loss in Rome. Indeed, both of these sides exited the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage, but Sevilla did so in far less dramatic and embarrassing fashion.
A 2-1 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich is nothing to be sniffed at, and Los Rojiblancos have enjoyed the underdog role in the past. It’s when Vincenzo Montella’s side have been expected to win that things have gone awry. Last month, Sevilla secured a famous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford but have failed to win in the seven matches since — although they have still earned some decent results in that time.
Since the turn of the year, the Andalusian outfit have picked up two victories over Atletico Madrid to reach this stage of the cup, defeated United and drawn with Bayern, Villarreal and Barcelona. It’s heavy defeats to the likes of Eibar and Celta Vigo that render Sevilla so unpredictable.
With that in mind, Barcelona (-236) must be wary and they certainly don’t seem to have fully recovered from what was a dreadful match in the Italian capital on April 10th. Barca were fortunate to beat Valencia on Saturday before drawing with Celta this week.
The tie between these two sides just three weeks ago should be warning enough that Sevilla (+686), on their day, aren’t to be underestimated.