Bring Me Everyone: Sevilla – Barça

Xavi is...Iron Man (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe)

Liga Preview: Sevilla – Barça, Saturday 3pm EST, GolTV

As if you didn’t know: this is important. Like, trophy-sized important. Like, all the marbles important. Like, name your next child after the guy who scores the game winner important. Okay, maybe not, especially if you’re going to have a girl named Lionela. But it’s still damned important. This is a match that will define a season filled with season-defining matches, with edge-of-your-seat battles between top-notch teams…and Mallorca.

I’m no mathematical wizard, mind you, but a 1-point lead with 6 points to play for is tenuous at best and requires 2 wins out of 2 matches. Apparently there are 81 possible outcomes to the 4 matches in question (Barça at Sevilla, vs Valladolid; RM vs Bilbao, at Malaga) and while a large percentage of those favor Barça because of our 1-point lead and the tie-breaker going in our favor, what is required of the team is to beat Sevilla tomorrow and Valladolid next weekend. That’s no easy task, but every match is there for the taking.

This is a huge match for our opponents as well, who need a win to greatly increase their chances of getting the 4th Champions League spot, which they currently own thanks to Mallorca’s loss on Wednesday to RM. And now Mallorca needs us to beat Sevilla. I see how it is: you want us to help you out, but you’re not willing to help us out. Yeah, yeah, all right…jerkwads. So who, exactly, are we going up against?

Sevilla has a different coach this time around; before it was Manolo Jiménez, this time it is Antonio Álvarez. You can read up on him here*. Suffice to say that it’s a mixed bag, but recently that bag has been producing some gems, including a 1-5 rout of Racing Santader at their house and a 3-1 win against Atleti in the prior jornada. Before that, though, they lost a thriller to Getafe (4-3), shutout Sporting (3-0) and lost to Valladolid (2-1). They lost to a relegation zone team? Wild. No wonder they’re struggling to make it to the Champions League. They beat Madrid 2-1 at the Sanchez Pizjuan earlier this year, so you know they can hang with the big boys and they obviously have a good overall record.

Stats comparison:

Sevilla:  18W-6D-12L (60GF, 43GA)
Barça: 29W-6D-1L (91GF, 22GA)

Sevilla: 10W-6D-2L (31GF, 15GA)
Barça: 12W-5D-1L (38GF, 11GA)

There is no team with a better away record than Barça (RM are tied with 41 points, but have a worse goal difference and 2 extra losses), but Sevilla is no slouch at home, with the 6th best home record behind the Big 2, Mallorca, Villarreal, and Valencia (in that order). Only Barça and Valencia have fewer home goals allowed (11 and 12) while Mallorca and Osasuna also have 15. Only RM has more goals scored away from home than Barça (41 to 38)**.

Sevilla’s leading scorer is Luis Fabiano, who has 14 goals to his name, followed by Álvaro Negredo with 11 and Freddie Kanouté with 10. Still, I think that Sevilla’s danger man is Jesús Navas, who can do an awful lot of damage down the right hand flank. Because of Eric Abidal’s continued absence, it will be up to Maxwell to really put the lid on those attacks. If they play us with a 4-4-1-1, which I kind of expect they will, that could actually backfire on them in that it could put the shackles on Navas simply by moving him farther from goal and giving our defense enough time to get back should he break through the first layer of defense. Pushing him further up, however, might open up space down their wings for our squad, which, of course, is a bad thing for Sevilla too.

Their full squad list is: Palop, Javi Varas, Stankevicius, Konko, Squillaci, Escudé, Fazio, Adriano, Zokora, Renato, Lolo, Romaric, Jesús Navas, Diego Capel, José Carlos, Negredo, Luis Fabiano, Kanouté.

Basically, I’m expecting them to start Navas on the right wing and for Guardiola to put Keita and Maxwell over there to stymie him. Watch for Keita’s work, which you’ll not notice until you don’t see Navas with the ball very often and then it will be apparent what he does so well: box-to-box defense and offense. He doesn’t really get the credit I think he deserves because he and his absurdly huge smile somehow go stealth during most matches, yet he is out there destroying, making tackles, linking offensive play, and generally making his presence known in an unknown way. Basically he’s a ninja assassin.

I think one huge missing piece for Sevilla will be Diego Perotti, who can add width to the left side of their attack while Navas is adding width to the right side. I suspect we’ll see Diego Capel trying to do that, but Perotti is, in my opinion, above and beyond Capel, who really seems to have hit a ceiling despite having been called the next Leo Messi a few years ago (cause you know, before Messi was the big deal he is now, he already had people lining up to replace him, which totally makes sense). Not that it makes Capel a bad player by any stretch, but he’s not as good as they said he would be by now. Ah well. Fate, you fickle fiend.

Our squad list looks like this: Everyone.

I imagine the scene at the Camp Nou (or Joan Gamper facility, more likely, but that’s not as compelling a backdrop) involving Guardiola portraying a much, much kinder, yet no less intense, Gary Oldman from Leon, The Professional: Bring me everyone! Tito Vilanova is obviously Benny. I don’t know who plays Natalie Portman…(you knew I’d bring her up again before the end of the year, didn’t you?)…perhaps Bojan. I don’t know.

Only Iniesta and Abidal are not really included in the squad list, but they’ve made the trip to Sevilla anyway to support the team in what is a must-win situation. Lose and you’re done. Lose and the title is lost, despite the massive points total we’ll have at the end of the season (and already have). 99 points are necessary to ensure the league title. Absurd. Thiago Alcantara is also in the squad list, but I highly doubt he’ll be included.

There are injury concerns over Pique, who I don’t expect to be fit enough to play (and why play an unfit Pique when you can play a 100% Milito?) and certainly not fit enough to play 90 minutes of bang-the-knee-against-the-tall-guy’s-injured-knee. Which is a fun game, actually. You should try it sometime. Unless you’re the tall guy. There are also concerns over Xavi’s fitness, but I expect him to play through the pain tomorrow because, well, this is it. This is the season. And he’s Xavi. He’s a beast, if you didn’t know, and he’ll play through anything for the title. There was talk of complacency when the season began, of players expecting to win, but Xavi? He obviously wants it and wants it so badly he’s risking his World Cup to win now. Perhaps that’s stupid, in the end, but you can’t blame him for it and I, for one, am mightily impressed with his dedication. All of Spain wait with bated breath for several reasons.

Predicted lineup: Valdes, Alves, Yaya, Puyol, Maxwell, Busi, Keita, Xavi, Pedro, Ibra, Messi.

Whoa. A Yaya in the back line? Absolutely. He was trusted there during the Champions League final against ManU and that worked out pretty well, didn’t it? Some have expressed concern that a pairing of Milito and Puyol at the back is too much like-with-like, too much destroyer, not enough Beckenbauer, not enough vertical movement. I said I wouldn’t include Busi in the lineups, but this isn’t my preferred lineup, this is my predicted lineup. My preferred one is actually Milito-Puyol in the back with Yaya in the middle instead of Busi, but Guardiola won’t play it like that, I don’t think. Kevin has suggested Messi officially in the middle playing the Xavi role while our vice captain heals a bit on the bench, but I don’t see us not risking further injury with so few minutes left on the clock. And Messi plays better in a free role where he isn’t required to control the rhythm and tempo of the game, something he hasn’t mastered yet and which Xavi is the greatest in the world at.

So there you have it. I don’t want Busi on the field, but he’ll be out there anyway. Bojan’s exclusion from the starting lineup isn’t because he hasn’t been good (or at least effective; that debate is something I don’t really want to get into right now, though), but rather because I think the physical nature of this game is something Ibra is slightly more suited to, though there is probably some merit in the argument that Bojan’s quickness might outfox the slower, more ponderous Sevilla defenders while Ibra’s size and lack of quickness would make our offense easier to mark. I can see both sides of the argument and I can even seen arguments for putting Bojan in for Pedro!, whose super sub status can’t be questioned, but who has also been pushing heavily for a regular starting role.

Official Prediction: 1-2, we eek out a win thanks to some late heroics. We’ll all have to clean out our pants after this one, folks, as RM are going to roll over Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu and only that game winner will preserve our championship.

Time: 9pm Local/Sevilla; 3pm EST/NY; check your local time here.
: In the US, this match will be on GolTV. All matches are at the same time here, so ESPN2 will be showing RM-Bilbao at the same time as this match is going on. Get both going so you can live the drama.
Weather: ~70F (~21C), getting colder as the night progresses, 30% chance of rain by the end of the match.

"I love you something fierce, little guy." (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe)

*I find this line particularly chuckle-worthy, though: “In 2000, he accepted a position with Sevilla FC as an assistant to the manager; in this capacity, he learned the rules of the game by observing Joaquín Caparrós, Juande Ramos, and more recently Manolo Jiménez.” Really? He was unsure of the rules of the game despite having played as a professional for 22 years? Maybe it was meant figuratively (as in, he learned how things went or he learned the concepts of managing), but seeing as this is a game with rules we’re talking about, that was, perhaps, a bad choice of words.

**Espanyol has 9. That’s right, 9 away goals. And they still have more away points than Tenerife (11 to 6)! And did you know that Racing Santander is the only team with a better away record than home record (22 points to 14)? That’s wacky.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Tyler
    May 7, 2010

    It’s now or never! I agree that shutting down Navas on the wings will be vital to our success tomorrow. Also, creating more scoring chances with our gobs of possession will keep them on their toes. If Alves puts in crosses like he did last game, it’s all over game set and match. Regardless, even if we lose and end up with only three trophies this year, I will be so proud of this team. We did more things with less players than any team in the world. Two more games and it’s all over.

  2. Auld Super
    May 7, 2010

    Watching this game is going to be torture.

  3. Cesc Blanc
    May 7, 2010

    I would also predict that line-up as it makes most sense. Ibra vs. Bojan is a two cut sword, if such an expression exists in English. On one hand Ibra had a fun time with them in all games so far he played against them and if Sevilla plan to attack and leave Ibra one-on-one or even two-on-one around the box, it’s better to play Ibra.
    If however Sevilla try to play on the counterattack and the game effectively becomes a game of who plays better in transition and if it’s about shutting down Navas, who will probably do us the most harm, Bojan would make sense, as he works better in transition.
    If Piqué isn’t fit, I also expect Yaya in central defense, as having a playmaking centerback will be crucial.

    Anyway, all talk…tots units fem força!

    • May 7, 2010

      The expression in English is “double-edged sword” or “double-edged blade”, fyi.

      I didn’t even mention that we toasted them 4-0 at the Camp Nou, but then there were the Copa del Rey matches that were anything but a walk in the park. I guess it’s just going to be completely up in the air until the lineup comes out in 24 hours. EGAD.

      • Eklavya
        May 7, 2010


        Expressing Grindingly Atrocious Doubt?


        • Helge
          May 7, 2010

          I guess it’s more like “Oh God!”.

      • Cesc Blanc
        May 7, 2010

        yes, double edged sword…that’s it! hehe.

  4. Blow-Grenade
    May 7, 2010

    Look forward to the mother of all attacking matches. This one!!! Visca el Barca!!!

    Frankly speaking I love how both teams play. Sevilla play some lovely attacking football. They have good wingers like Capel and Navas, and have wonderful forwards like Kanoute, Fabiano and Negredo. Palop obviously needs no introduction as he shut out Messi during the Copa del Rey.

    Also sevilla have a good youth system. And Capel comes from there. He was also part of the Barca la Masia for a couple of years.

    Anyway…Looking forward to a very open and attacking match with lots of goals.

  5. Blow-Grenade
    May 7, 2010

    Love how Dani’s shoes match the color of the soccer ball.

    Hats off to you for bringing up Natalie Portman in the context of this match. That is just epic.

    • Eklavya
      May 7, 2010

      Actually when I read “Xavi is … Iron Man” I was hoping for more Scarlette Johansson but let’s not derail too much off topic … 😀

      • Blow-Grenade
        May 7, 2010

        Oh my god. You just did not mention Scarlett Johansson. With Natalie Portman already mentioned this battle has already taken epic proportions.

        • ElShowDeJason
          May 7, 2010

          Natalie Portman > Scarlett Johansson
          F.C. Barcelona > Natalie Portman > Beer > Oxygen > Everything else.

          • Blow-Grenade
            May 7, 2010

            I would have to agree with your explanation on how Barca fits into the entire scheme of things in the cosmos. I, however, think you missed one of the components in how you explained the entire cosmos. I think Scarlett Johansson has to come before Oxygen some place there as well.

  6. SoccerMom
    May 7, 2010

    Su devoted SoMa peeks in to see if the Barçabloggers are playing nice in the BFB sandbox. ¡madre mía!
    Looks like it’s finals for everybody.
    Chop wood, carry water.
    Too bad we’ll have to chop up Sevilla to carry the day.
    They are my no. 3 after 1. Blaugrana and 2. The Batmen (Do I hear a battle of the bands lineup, anyone?)
    If only because I’ll always be grateful for our little Dani.
    Kxevin, Isaiah & Hector *are* BFB BTW.
    SoMa is the occasional slice o’ pickle that gives the sluicy, juicy burger served up by the chefs du blog a tart little tickle.
    Buen apetito!

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 7, 2010

      Thats excellent SoMa. Me want some pickle on my Burger.

      • ooga aga
        May 7, 2010

        mom, it was them! not me! im playing nice!

  7. Euler
    May 7, 2010

    Given Abdial’s existing injury situation, Pique’s lack of fitness is of particular concern. Xavi is obviously Xavi and he will compete but his with his fitness opaque, additional uncertainty is added.

    That said – you steps out on the pitch and you win. If it doesn’t happen so be it.

    No excuses regarding lack of fitness and players being unavailable by either the squad or supporters.

    If a team is going to win six trophies one year and then make as a goal winning multiple trophies the following year, injuries aren’t simply bad fortune.

    In that context, injuries are something that one will need to live with, especially when one employs a system that emphasizes technical skill rather than physical dominance. The injuries are unfortunate – but they aren’t pure accidents either. Not with the pace of competition the squad has engaged in over the past two years and their physical skill set.

    The focus is on tomorrow obviously. It will be a significant test. Sevilla is a dangerous attacking squad. But next season, depth will need to be a primary strategic concern given the Barca’s large scale goals and what defines success for them.

  8. ElShowDeJason
    May 7, 2010

    5 Star review. ( admittedly you gained 4.5 of those stars with one simple Natalie Portman reference, albeit a very underaged reference!)

  9. May 7, 2010

    My biggest concern tomorrow is our defensive line… they have been making mistakes and looking shaky lately. If we don’t give the ball away close to out area, and stay tough back their, we should prevail.

    oh… and Hi Soccer Mom!

  10. ElShowDeJason
    May 7, 2010

    to quote a great film (T2)
    “There is no fate but what we make”

    no matter how marginally ahead we are, we are ahead, so our fate is entirely in our hands. Madrid do not have that luxury.

    But it is still up to us to get it done.
    So lets go out and seal our fate!

  11. majatt
    May 7, 2010

    A tense week, but we can do it. I believe.

  12. May 7, 2010

    I don’t believe all those months, all those matches, all those goals, and it’s come down to one game. It’s almost unfair, like all of that didn’t count for anything.

    Too nervous to say anything more. I’m basically more nervous than I was before the Inter second leg.

  13. ooga aga
    May 7, 2010

    i doubt see xavi as a doubt (as was mentioned in the previous thread). he was practicing with the team as normal and pep didnt mention anything about it in the press conference. furthermore he said in re: abidal, “probably, if i want, i will be able to count on him.”

    !! lets hope.

  14. May 7, 2010

    If both Barca & Madrid win this weekend,then the race is on for next week too,right? So why is everyone treating this as the most important game? Just because Valladolid is a lesser team than Sevilla…are we taking it for granted that they’ll roll over for us?

    • Lou
      May 7, 2010

      If Valladolid still have a hope of survival (realistically they need to beat Racing at home this weekend for this to be true), I expect a brutal match. These guys have 2 wins 3 draws and 1 loss in the past six matches, so they are no pushovers.

      Phil Ball has more of a description of their playing style under Clemente here:

      However the team can only play one match at a time, so I don’t see the harm in focusing on Sevilla until Sunday.

    • May 7, 2010

      Can’t take Valladolid for granted–that’s very true. But this is one-game-at-a-time and each one is super important. This our last away match and it’s against a team that is far superior to Valladolid. And we’re playing them on short rest (and they us, yes). And they’ve beaten us before this year.

      So we have to beat Sevilla. We *must* beat Sevilla. This is for everything. And then we’ve got another match that is for everything after that.

  15. Jim
    May 7, 2010

    Nah, its because I’ve a sneaking hunch Don Andres might be back for that. He’s ahead of schedule. In which case game over 🙂

    • jose011
      May 7, 2010

      wouldn’t that be a fitting way to end the season! abidal and iniesta back in the starting eleven.

      but let’s not get ahead of ourselves (;

  16. Spencer
    May 7, 2010

    5-1. Messi, Ibra (2), Xavi, Bojan.

    Put it in the book.

  17. stowe
    May 7, 2010

    Xavi does look a little like Robert Downey, Jr.

  18. Kxevin
    May 7, 2010

    I am confident, but I am always confident, right up until I no longer have a reason to be confident. Word.

    I think it will be close, like 2-1 or 3-2 in our favor. They’re playing too well right now for us not to concede, but we’re playing too well not to score on them, if they play the open match that they have to play to score on us. I still wouldn’t mind seeing my Xaviless lineup, if he’s injured:

    Alves Puyol Milito Maxwell
    The Yaya Messi Busquets
    Krkic Ibrahimovic Pedro!

    This team has, this season, shown up in the big matches. Never forget that we were an incorrect ref’s call away from having shown up big at home against Inter, as well. And unlike Chelsea fans who conveniently ignore blown calls in their favor (crappy officiating over both legs, frankly), not that much was screwed up, just the Motta sending off and the disallowed Krkic goal and the allowed Milito one. But they blew an offside call that had him 1-v-1 against Valdes, so karmic math evens those out.

    I believe we will show up big tomorrow. And I love that Alves is playing really well again. Just in time.

    And I will have me a new, big-ass (58 inches) plasma set to watch it on.

    • Kxevin
      May 7, 2010

      Oh, and if we beat Sevilla, no way in hell do we not get the positive result against Valladolid, at home. No. Freakin’. Way.

    • cliveee
      May 8, 2010

      Xavi will play. That tough little guy is mentally stronger than anyone. He will convince Pep to let him no matter what. Pep of course will let him decide it on his own.

      Messi will do ok in Xavi’s position, but it is a huge sacrifice in our attack.

      On another note, I don’t think Madrid has an easier game against Bilbao compare to us. But whatever, we will win out.

  19. Karo
    May 8, 2010

    I wanna hear ray hudson have an orgasm after ibra scores a hat trick

  20. vicsoc8
    May 8, 2010

    I agree with everything Kvevin says, except the lineup. And that’s because I have no idea how we will line up.

    But I’d like to add: VISCA EL BARCA

  21. May 8, 2010

    Meanwhile, the stupidity continues over this picture:


    Ibrahimovic, when questioned by a female reporter, snarled “Come to my house with your sister and see if I’m queer.”

    Do we/he really need this right now? Right before the biggest match of the season?

    Though I am wondering what kind of car that is. Looks badass.

    P.S. No, “we” can’t put images in comments, but I can. Perk of the job. 😀

  22. andrecito
    May 8, 2010

    hi..could anyone recommend how to watch this online..i cant see it live so i’m hoping to be able to download it..

    • cliveee
      May 8, 2010

      try tomorrow when the game is on.

  23. cliveee
    May 8, 2010

    It will be a really close one. It will mostly be 2-1. Judging by how monstrous Palop has been this season, especially against us, it won’t be easy to finish them at their house by a large margin. Our biggest enemy is really their goalkeeper, and our own defense. We will be tested in any freaking way. They are terribly good at the flanks and counter attack while we are vulnerable in both. We will concede, but let’s hope we score enough to compensate. We will have to count on Ibra again. We really do. Let that non-sense photo go to trash first, we can have fun with it after tomorrow.

  24. Elguerosinfe aka Stevenson
    May 8, 2010


    Thank you for so prominently featuring my post over at totalBarca! Pure class on your part! I guess I was hoping that readers would understand that “rules of the game” could be interpreted figuratively to mean “tactical understanding,” but I guess I’ll have to spell it out more plainly in the future for literal readers such as yourself.

    But really: was it not obvious?


  25. VicNZ
    May 8, 2010

    This is the season defining game folks, all those games won go out the door and mean nothing if we dont win against sevilla. Im on the fence with Xavi playing, for one side i want barca to win and knowing full well that Xavi increases our chances but again I dont want him crook for Spain in the WC, its going to be tight, hope he comes out ok after the dust clears. hopefully Andresito gets some minutes and if abidal plays, id move maxwell up to left mid, busi/keita in the middle with yaya on the right.But if piques out id prefer yaya at CB than milito, i can c navas running circles around him. with yaya on the right. after seeing this : it got me obsessed with pedro! gotta feeling hell score tomorw! along with messi and zlatan who will probably be fiery after the “maricon” incident. hope for the best tomorow! soms un…Visca Barca

  26. Jim
    May 8, 2010

    Iniesta hasn’t been cleared yet I so I don’t think we’ll see him tonight but on his blog he seems to be implying that he will be back very soon. At least he’ll get some minutes in the last game, if only to cheer him up.

    Kxevin, I’d love to rest Xavi but do you really think we can dominate Seville away without him? I’m not sure. If we don’t I have a horrible feeling that Navas will be getting decent possession and that could be trouble.

    • Kxevin
      May 8, 2010

      Def don’t think that we can dominate possession without Xavi, but I do think that Messi in the midfield, along with Biscuits making his specialty backpasses and The Yaya just being global, wouldn’t put us all that far off.

      But as I and others have noted, Xavi practiced as normal with the squad yesterday. No way he misses this one.

      And in the “Yay!” category, the EE match will be on at the same time as ours, but on Deportes, so none of that split-screen hooey that GolTV is so fond of. Their picture-gobbling graphics are bad enough.

      Despite the joy that Iniesta is spreading via his Facebook page, I don’t think we’ll see him again this season. What’s the point? If we can’t beat Valladolid without him, something is wrong in the universe, I dare say. And he shouldn’t rush back. Clearly, rushing back for one so fragile and spectral is part of the problem.

      Hey, maybe I’ll start the RGC (Rest Ghostface Committee). 😀

  27. Jim
    May 8, 2010

    Loved the two videos on Total Barca about the lives of Iniesta and now Xavi. How lucky are we that we have two awesome people as well as players at our club?

  28. Kxevin
    May 8, 2010

    Here’s something else worth noting about Pedro!, in connection with my World Class Keepers Against Barca theory.

    My notion is that our tika-taka style is so elegant, but it’s also logical in that the ball can be followed to a geometric terminus by any good keeper. It’s a simple progression, since our attack generally ends with one man in the box, taking the shot. So keepers have the match of their lives against us, because the inexorable (and usually irresistible) logic of tika-taka can be followed, and the ensuing shot stopped.

    What P! does, with his supercollider-style movement that often, even his teammates can’t figure out, is introduce a variable into the tika-taka equation, the “What the….” corollary, if you will. Which makes me a big fan of his destabilizing influence. Ibrahimovic’s ninja bits of craziness are another.

    But having said that, I still want to see P! as a supersub, coming for Krkic or Ibrahimovic, to drive the Sevilla defense crazy.

    Don’t be shocked if we see a bit of Henry today, as well.

    And yes, Virginia, there will be a liveblog, and I’ll be running it.

    • Euler
      May 8, 2010

      It’s interesting you say that. If you look at how complex systems work in nature, two of the key features many of them share are: 1) a set of simple rules the system can follow; 2)an element of random behavior interspersed into those rules.

      It’s that element of random behavior which creates the diversification the system needs in order to continue evolve and adapt.

      Without that random element new patterns can’t be formed and the systems behavior takes longer to optimize.

      By your theory Pedro is Barca’s agent of random behavior and diversification!

  29. Lou
    May 8, 2010

    So El Mundo and Sport have apparently been saying for days that Pep will go with a forward line-up of Messi, Bojan, Pedro. Naive question maybe, but do they ever actually get insider information or do they just make all this stuff up?

    I would think that we’d want to have at least one of Bojan or Pedro on the bench to bring on when Sevilla’s defenders are getting tired.

    • May 8, 2010

      Even the players themselves do not know the starting lineup for a game “days before” kick off.

      I hope I answered your question.

      • Kxevin
        May 8, 2010

        Ramzi has very elegantly and obliquely said “They make this crap up.” It depends on who the publication in question is championing. Right now, Sport and EMD are anti-Ibrahimovic, hence the Krkic/Messi/Pedro! attack.

        Now it might well materialize, if you hew to the P! Theory of Randomness that I expressed above. And recall from my review that Ibrahimovic stank out the joint against Sevilla at the Camp Nou, and Henry was showing signs of life. So go figure.

        • Kxevin
          May 8, 2010

          The other thing worth noting in that match is that Abidal grabbed a 10 rating. He was an absolute monster, effectively shutting off his side of the pitch to any attacking ambitions that Sevilla had, with pace and physicality. Bummer that he won’t be in the picture today (I think).

  30. Lou
    May 8, 2010

    Oh, and also a bunch of airports in Spain have been closed due to the ash cloud including Barcelona.


    The team should already be in Seville though, and there’s no midweek game so it shouldn’t be too bad.

  31. y2k156
    May 8, 2010

    I don’t think Sport or EMD has any better track record of second guessing Pep than most of us. So i would not put too much faith in them.

    On other hand, our all mobile forward line is effective against teams that want to play ball with us. And Sevilla will so Pep might have all mites in front line.

    I looking forward to the match but am not worried. Just hoping for cracker that we win:).

  32. Jose
    May 8, 2010


    (your resident shouter)

      • Kxevin
        May 8, 2010

        Oh. Yes. Finishing up spring cleaning, kids. T’will be up in plenty of time for the battle royale, however. Fret not.

  33. ooga aga
    May 8, 2010

    my hope for seeing abidal start:

    could it be that pep, favoring the league over the CL, saw the sevilla match as more important than the inter match, and that this is the key in the timing of abidal’s return? ie, a month+ ago he thought to himself: “shutting down navas = winning the league, and this is the most important thing” combined with the judgement call on abidal’s health, he played conservative and kept saving him….for sevilla. i mean it seems abi has been practicing with the team for 2+ weeks now “con todo normalidad”

  34. ooga aga
    May 8, 2010

    theory goes out of the water if navas plays on the left. oops, i cant remember all of a sudden.

  35. May 8, 2010

    According to Catalunya Radio they will play: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Maxwell, Xavi, Sergio B., Keita, Messi, Bojan and Pedro.

    • ooga aga
      May 8, 2010

      this lineup has been confirmed on the official site. additionally, it says abidal is officially fit to play.

      only txignriki marquez and thiago will watch from the stands

  36. Jnice
    May 8, 2010

    Sevilla’s lineup is Palop; Adriano, Escudé, Fazio, Konko; Zokora, Renato, Capel, Navas; Luis Fabiano & Kanouté

    • Helge
      May 8, 2010

      Full wing power? Capel and Navas, that’s nasty.

        • Helge
          May 8, 2010

          Well, I think Capel is at least faster than Perrotti…

  37. Jim
    May 8, 2010

    Ok. Big positive waves for the next 90 minutes 🙂 No negativity !

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