“We Ready” – Supercopa, Leg 2 Preview

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

Woo! It’s preview time for the Sevilla match and Barcelona is hoping to bring home the 8th championship of the Pep Guardiola era and start the season off right after an offseason of ups (hey, 8 World Cup champions) and downs (Zlatan is staying, for the last time, if you ask again, the banhammer is coming out). But out boys have got some work to do after taking a 3-1 beating at Sevilla last weekend in a game that featured very little good play, although that’s to be expected when none of your players have practiced together in 3 months and most of them have spent that time on a beach. But enough with the excuses here, Barcelona lost and the only way to make it better is to win at least 2-0 tomorrow.

Sevilla is a team I cannot wrap my head around. They always seem to play well against us and are wont to play up to the level of the big teams in Spain. Then of course they crap the bed against the Xerez’s of the world, losing games that should not be close. Basically, they confuse me. Making matters stranger was Sevilla’s midweek Champions League qualifier loss to Braga in Portugal wherein they looked dreadful. But they should have their full compliment of role players and studs for this game (squad lists will be updated when they arrive).

All that confusion aside, Sevilla is a pesky side and one I don’t really like to play all that much because they are physical, have a number of threatening offensive options, and Palop likes to stonewall us out of nowhere sometimes. As they showed in the first leg and in the penultimate match of last year’s Liga campaign, they can score goals in bunches if given even minimal chances, and that’s why they scare me.

For the Blaugrana this game will like serve much more as another warm-up and further training than it will as a bellwether game for how our season will turn out. Even if Barรงa fail to retain the trophy and it heads back to Seville then the team should not be ashamed. Pep and the boys can only do so much with a host of young players and many others pulled away with international duties and much-needed vacations, not to mention very limited practice and gel time. The show will go on, we will be disappointed, but will then turn around for the Gamper Trophy game on Wednesday against Milan.

However, the chances of turning this one around are greatly improved now that Pep has a full squad at his disposal and hopefully starting a number of first-teamers. It is unlikely that a full-strength squad will be trotted out mostly due to the fact that they have had all of 2 days to practice all together, but it’s still better than the non-existent midfield and crushing defensive lapses suffered last week. A Xavi, Busquets, or Iniesta combined with Keita and JDS or Thiago certainly makes for marked improvement over the past and the addition of Puyol or Pique in the back would certainly make up for the gaping holes that Kanoute was exploiting last week. That leaves an offensive game that showed flashes but saw the black hole that was Bojan destroy any and all attacks. Perhaps with a more comprehensive trident featuring any two of Pedro, Villa, Messi, or Ibra plus the little void a more thorough beating would be in order.

Official Prediction: 2-0. A lot of questions marks here and we have no idea about squads or starters right now, but I like Barcelona to make a better showing this week at the Camp Nou with a better, more experienced group to play with. A combination of youth and experience win the day with Ibra and Pedro getting goals.

Match Info: The game is at 2:30 EST, 8:30 Barcelona time. It does not appear to be on any American TV live so we will try to find some live streams for you.

Sevilla squad list is (not entirely confirmed): Palop, Javi Varas, Konko, Dabo, Fazio, Squillaci, Escude, Renato, Cigarini, Romaric, Zokora, Navas, Alfaro, Perotti, Diego Capel, Negredo, Kanoute, Luis Fabiano.

@Barcastuff said Barรงa would have all 22 first team players available plus JDS and Thiago from the second team. We’ll update as soon as it’s official.

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.


  1. That Braga result was DISASTROUS for us, and obviously it would be devastating to not make it to the Champions League this year. We’re not the kind of club that makes it to championship games every season, so I’m certainly not scoffing at the Supercopa, but obviously from the perspective of a Sevilla fan, the minimum 6 games in Europe (and just the reputation as a consistent European presence) is immensely more important.

    Our inconsistency is really frustrating, and especially our tendency to play down to the level of middle and bottom-dwelling clubs. Totally agree, Isaiah. But I would not agree that we looked dreadful against Braga. We were definitely the better team on the whole, and actually played pretty well for most of the game…Sevilla just often see the wheels come off around the 1 hour mark of a game we’ve dominated but not been able to score in. And then that happened, and we failed to compose any kind of reaction.

    Anyway, could be an interesting, exciting game this weekend, or it could be a game that neither side cares too much about winning. We’ll see!

    1. The pace of the Braga players struck me very much. It seemed as though they were playing like Chile in the World Cup, with their Attack of the Waterbugs! approach. And it worked.

      I think that the “glorified friendly” tack is a sound one, but I also think that it’s a potential ego salve. During the Year of the Six Cups, the SuperCopa was just another one that we stuck our chests out about. So I can’t see it as being worthless now, because circumstances are different.

      I want to win silver. I want this club to win silver every chance that it gets, dangit. But we’ll see. All Sevilla has to do is effectively close up shop, but I hope they won’t. It’s too early in the season for cynicism.

      I also hope that we’ll get our first glimpse of the Villa/Ibrahimovic/Messi trident, but rather imagine that won’t happen until the Gamper, the season’s first official unofficial match. Guardiola did say that one Spain international would play in each line, but I imagine he will mate Pedro! with other folks up front, rather than Villa. But I’d love to be wrong.

      And we’ll have to cross paths in Chicago for some other match, since it isn’t being televised live. Though you are certainly welcome to trek up to Highland Park and watch it with me via TVE delay on my giant-ass plasma.

    2. Haha, Highland Park is probably too long a bike ride from Pilsen this weekend (although “large plasma” sounds about 2000 times better than the awful feed I’ll probably find), but I appreciate the offer for sure. And yes, we’ll have to meet up for a later match–that’ll be great!

      And Luke–sorry I called you Isaiah. : )

    3. Speaking as one who commutes daily via bicycle from Highland Park to downtown, I hear ya, particularly if you aren’t some freakazoid racer-type in training, as I am.

    4. you live in pilsen? awesome, i stayed there in 95 with martin from los crudos. i love that neighborhood. zapatista graffiti n shit. cheers from seattle

    5. you know martin from los crudos??? awesome! really cool guy. i saw them play here in l.a. when i was fucking 12 & again recently. i’ve run into him @hiphop shows, too.

    6. I’d love to win the game, but I don’t want to risk a lot of injuries, etc. in trying to win what would likely be the least “prestigious” of all the trophies we would play for out of the 6 available.

      To me it is one I would love to win and it would make for another great memory, but like I said, it’s a glorified warmup.

  2. What up, Luke? Nice review.

    I also think we could win 2-0, but we’re going to have to take our chances. There’s so many possibilities for what could be our starting lineup, so I won’t even try to guess. I hope we get to see Thiago/Jonathan alongside Xavi or Iniesta at some point, though I’m pretty sure Busquets and Keita will start in the midfield.

    So after Pep said the following in the press conference, all of a sudden TV3 now claims we are holding talks with Mascherano. Coincidence? I think not. They just aren’t clever.

    Guardiola: “Did the board offer me Ozil and Mascherano? No. Would I be interested in Mascherano if they did? We’ll see.”

    “I informed the club about which position I would like to strengthen.”

    1. No! No, no, no, no! Sport and EMD have already said that Guardiola turned down both Ozil and Mascherano. Who are you going to trust, your classy coach or the Fish Wrap in Waiting twins? You have to get with the program, sir. Really.

  3. liveblog? I would be willing to run it if all of the gatekeepers of our domain were too busy.

  4. From what I understand, Sport have been more balanced on the issue even though they were making up stories to sell papers while EMD have become Rosell’s mouthpiece.

    I have strong reservations about Rosell, Pep didn’t extend his contract as long s he could have, accounts manipulated to show a financial situation worse than it really is to spite Laporta, which also tarnishes Barca’s image and gives him further control in matters: pushing out Chygi citing financial reasons and from all signs inhibiting transfers. In addition I personally never liked his anti-Cruyff stance and will to interfere in sporting matters.

    While I don’t support giving Pep free reign over who to sign, a power struggle is the worst case scenario. The pillars of this teams success has been atmosphere and positivity surrounding it, poisoning it does no one any good.

  5. Darnit I’m going to miss this one too. Damn parks always have to be open for business on Saturdays!

  6. a little off topic here, but I thought that this blog would be a good resource to help me find what I’m looking for.

    what i’m looking for is one of those long sleeve, neon-yellow training tops from last season. can’t seem to find any on the internet, but if anybody knows a site or has a link somewhere, it would be greatly appreciated.

  7. l’Equipe is reporting that EE is gonna make a bid for OL left back Michel Bastos, a deal that would possibly include Royston Drenthe…

    1. correction: ol left winger & brazil left back.

      i don’t see him being that much better than marcelo; in defense anyway.

  8. @cesc pistol while i agree with all the points you make about Rosell, I am less sure about the lack of poison under the Laporta administration. Bugging your board members offices somehow fails to rhyme with positivity, lol.

  9. trying to be optimistic about Ibra staying but the man suitor for him happens to be playing us in the Joan Gamper game, and Burlisconi will be trying to play lets make a deal

    1. LOL, Milan can’t afford him. They needed Genoa to buy Kevin Prince and loan him out to them because they didn’t have the money for his transfer.

  10. I’m really excited to see both line-ups and I won’t give any prediction before of that ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, I didn’t see the first leg, but what was up with Messi? Was he tired / out of shape, would it make sense to play Ibra, Bojan and Villa/Maxwell/Jeffren(is he still there?) in attack?

    The match tomorrow is the first real test of the season, I don’t expect the Gamper match to be seriously competitive, it’s more like a friendly and tbh, AC Milan is just a shadow of itself.

  11. In the first leg, Sevilla successfully forced the action of the match to the flanks where they are particularly strong. As Barca extended itself to defend those flanks Sevilla was able to switch the ball and exploit weaknesses along Barca’s central spine that usually aren’t there.

    Barca also didn’t press as a unit and regain possession nearly as effectively as they usually do.

    With the return of the first team players Sevilla hopefully won’t be able to take advantage of either of those factors.

    Sevilla is dangerous and can take a result that will win them the Cup in aggregate. But they are likely going to need to do something different tactically.

  12. “President Sandro Rosell has invited ex-president Joan Laporta to receive last year’s league trophy at the Gamper game on Wednesday.”-barcastuff

    does joan turns it down?

    1. Turn it down! Turn it down!

      Besides, that dude didn’t come to the Sevilla game just so that he can have his debut in the Camp Nou. What an egoist.

    2. I hope Laporta doesn’t turn it down. This is as close as Rosell will ever get to offering him an olive branch, and I hope Laporta is the bigger man and accepts it despite their feud and Rosells veiled attacks on Laporta.

      Plus it would be for the good of the club. This feud is not good for the club and no matter what side you take, you have to want it to end

  13. “A lot of Guardiolaโ€™s press conference focussed on the youngsters from the B team and he revealed that none of them would be coming into the first team squad just yet, but that he would bring them in on a game by game basis.

    Does that mean no Romeu or Fontas or JDS…?

    1. I think it means that none of the youngsters will be directly promoted, but that they will come and play with the first team when the first team has a specific need for them.

    2. as usual!all of our undisputable starters coming from the academy went through this phase!
      Thats a hint to the youngsters :
      yeah we got a small squad but that does not automatically dictate your registration with the first team squad.
      Work your ass off even more , since having a small squad will probably get you faster and more often the chance to prove what you worth.
      Cant really disagree with this one.

    3. Exactly. While none of them will be directly promoted, they all have the opportunity to earn a place in the squad.

    4. That’s good news and what I hoped it meant something on the lines of that. Considering all the pressure on Pep to get replace the players that left, including that Yaya-sized hole in the DM position, I was kind of worried that he would promote the likes of Fontas, Romeu, or JDS to fill it.

      But of course Pep wouldn’t do something like that, just to prove a point to Rosell. Phew!

    5. I think that if we don’t have any more signings we will see 2 canteranos playing with the first team full time by the end of the season. If we do make a signing, we will still see at least one canterano playing with the first team full time, and more likely two.

  14. Good preview Luke.

    All I have to say is /insert Homer Simpson voice/:
    “Villa Ibra Messing aaaaggggghhhhhr”/drools/

  15. Any idea if Macherano played in the Europa League game? coz if he did , and we did sign him, he wud be cup tied.

    1. No he didnt play. Not sure if that means anything… apparently he had a “knock”. Hmmm..

    2. If things still stand as before, Every team (in the Cl) can register one player who already played in the Europa League. A.K.A Lass and Hauntlar case when they joined Real Madrid.

    3. Because shakhtar played a champion’s league qualification game that he participated , not a europa league one.

    4. Chygy played in a UCL qualifier. Playing in Europa might Cup tie too, although I don’t remember.

    5. i thought you could register a player that had played in a uefa qualifying match only if his team had lost? you can only pick up losers is what i remember the new rule being. maybe i’m mistaken.

  16. I think my preferred lineup is:
    Alves – Milito – Piquรฉ – Abidal
    Iniesta – Busquets – Keita
    Messi – Ibra – Pedro

    But I’m not sure

  17. hey guys who has seen peps recent press comference?
    I heard the media asked him bout Ibra a total of 6 times and he evaded everyone of them.
    The media wouldnt let up so pep said
    ‘for the sake of everyone its better i said nothing’
    When the media asked him why he simply said
    ‘coz i said so, im the coach’

    1. I think, and this might just be me reading the tea leaves, it’s a two-pronged answer, aimed both at the press (who made up the sale rumors in the FIRST place), and Rosell, who probably wouldn’t mind selling Ibrahimovic. He’s 29, and it’s easier to sell a striker with a 2 in front of his age, than a 3.

      On the other hand they’re probably torn, because if he does an Henry, and rips shit to shreds in his second season, they will look like geniuses, and be able to say “Boy, are we glad we didn’t do what you idiots wanted and sell Ibrahimovic.”

      I think that Guardiola is still not happy about the Txigrinski sale, and understands that the Ibrahimovic sale plants are coming from somewhere, and they ain’t coming from him.

    2. I don’t know, this just doesn’t strike me as a normal Pep response to a question like this. I really don’t understand why he would respond that way, and so it worries me.

    3. I’m not all that worried, actually. If Guardiola relents on selling Ibrahimovic, he did so for a very good reason. It would also remove the complexity of the reward to Pedro! for a spectacular breakout season being a seat on the bench, right?

      So it becomes:

      Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
      Busquets Xavi Iniesta
      Pedro! Messi Villa

      I’d go to war with that lineup, no problem. It still leaves us with Krkic and Jeffren in reserve on the attacking front. either way, we have 11 days to get it all sorted.

    4. Oh man… and I know from Pep’s tweet that we might actually consider a Robinho-Zlatan swap ๐Ÿ™

      PLEASE, if we sell Ibra (which is already completely against my will), do not allow Robinho to join Barca as a compensation or whatever! I fucking hate this guy, I couldn’t bear it to see him at Barca. Seriously, f*** off Robinho and go to any other place!
      (sorry for the strong language, but the simple imagination of this scenario makes me go nuts)

    5. In this case, you are forgiven for your use of expletives. Well, you are by me and that’s all that really matters anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Sometimes, there’s no other way to get your feelings across.

      I hope the rumors/speculation that he’s off to Turkey are true. I mean, Man freakin’ Citeh don’t even want him. And they bought James Milner for a price 6m more than Yaya. 6 MILLION more.


  18. In the “non-Barca, and crazy” file, Squillaci asked to be left out of the Sevilla side against Braga in the Champions League tie, because he wants to go to Arsenal and doesn’t want to be Cup-tied.

    Apparently it didn’t cause a whole lot of joy in the locker room or with the coach. He probably won’t play against us, either, not that he is anything approaching a regular, anyhow.

  19. My preferred lineup:

    Dos Santos-Busquets-Keita

    Sub in David Villa at around 60th minute, to keep me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. It’s also interesting that the only Barca B defender still practicing with the first team is Sergi Gomez, the youngest of the four centerbacks who are looking to get into the first team (Fontas, Bartra, Muniesa), and the defender who played in Juvenil A for about half the season last year.

    1. It’s only because Fontas and the rest needed to get their match fitness up as they will be very important for him during the season, so they had to play in that friendly. When it comes down to it, Pep is probably just hoping he learns from this experience and Fontas is still first choice of the youngsters.

  21. Gabi Milito and Messi have both been called up for Argentina’s friendly against Spain in September.


    I’m happy for Milito, and it’s cool that this match could feature 10 Barca players, but it will be quite the headache for Guardiola to have 10 players go to play a friendly in Argentina at the beginning of the season.

    At least Dani won’t have far to travel. I read that the Brazilian national team will be spending a week practicing in the Barcelona facilities.

  22. prefered line-up:

    -andres iniesta-

    doble pivote ๐Ÿ˜‰ oh yeah, to aim for the 2-0. and if sevilla scores you still have xavi ibra (and alcantara) to fire the thing up

  23. btw… everyday pep’s declarations get more politic, too much concern about shaping public opinion… and not saying much.

  24. Nice preview Luke! thanks.

    I just can’t wait for the game to start. missed last week so my first official game of the season yayyy!

    10 days till the madness ends!

  25. ok, my lineup prediction will be:

    Alves Milito Pique Abidal
    Thiago Busquets Maxwell
    Messi Ibra Pedro

    – Villa to be unleashed in the Gamper.
    – Ibra + Maxwell still rocks like no others.
    – Thiago over Dos Santos, personally.

    end prediction.

  26. Valdes
    Alves Pique MIlito Abidal
    Thiago Busiquets Iniesta
    Messi Ibra Pedro!

    Villa will be subbed for Messi im guessing around 60th min.
    im thinking 2-0 win too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Go All Blacks tonight aswell! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I’d pee my pants if I ever had to face the All Blacks and see their Haka routine.


      Holy ####!

    1. But then he won’t get that ovation like he would entering the field alone as a sub.
      Personally, I like the sub-to-standing-ovation scenario better.

  27. http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2010/08/21/2080701/barcelona-expected-to-start-with-lionel-messi-against-sevilla-as-,

    especially these lines
    The Big Swede is also likely to make the starting line-up, although AS believes that it will be more of a last chance for the giant striker to convince the club and the coaching staff after Guardiola declined to elaborate on his future when he was queried yesterday during the pre-match press conference.

    Why r these papers r against IBRA,give him another season.hopefuuly he will do a henry.

    there are some fans who r supporting IBRA unconditionally,sypport him,yes but not unconditionally

    1. AS is an EE-centric rag with about the same believability factor as Sport and EMD. At least the latter two are sometimes used to air club business. AS is worthless, and if the person making up the rumor bothered to consider the purchasing club’s lineup, he would have understood how impossible to rumor is to take seriously, even for an instant.

      And I don’t think that anyone supports Ibrahimovic “unconditionally.” Not even Messi or Xavi have that status. If you aren’t making it happen, get out. But the general consensus is anyone deserves a second season in our very complex system.

      But there are 10 days left in the transfer window, so we’ll see what happens.

    1. I just don’t think that it’s very thoughtful. It assumes that 2+2 always equals 4, so Villa has never been able to play with a big striker, therefore he can’t with Ibrahimovic. The end. It doesn’t analyze, which is important.

      Successful teams can roll out different lineups for any situation. The article presumes Villa leading the line, I would guess. When it happened in the World Cup, the results were never good. Villa can lead the line in the Liga, even though with Valencia as well he tended to drift toward the flanks, or take the middle in open play.

      But the fundamental flaw of it is that it compares Ibrahimovic with Zigic and Torres. Irrespective of how one feels about Ibrahimovic as a striker or Barca player, the fact that he has a unique skill set is undeniable. Zigic is a pure striker. Give me the ball, and I will kick or head it home. Torres is a classic Premiership striker. Neither have the control, passing ability or offensive capabilities.

      So what might have been interesting is hamstrung by incorrect conclusions and suppositions.

  28. Note to all: We’ve had a destabilizing influence of late, in a commenter under the handle of “barcathegreatestever.” When the person posts, just ignore it. I will clean up the comments, and other steps will be taken if the problems continue.


    1. No. Because the poster contributes nothing meaningful to the space. I don’t care if someone hates every player on the Barca side. Contribute something meaningful to the discussion that isn’t goading and negativity. That’s just trolling. I don’t want anybody coming into our house without bringing anything for the housewarming, then proceeding to pee in the corner and break furniture.

      Not cool, and it’s my job as one of the moderators, to make this a space where everyone feels comfortable. I think that everyone knows this, and this will be true for as long as I am part of this blog team.

    1. As usual, there will be download links, so you’ll be able to check out the goodness at your leisure. Have a good trip.

  29. Seriously kxevin ; who takes seriously these papers.
    Take MD :this morning it came out with a frontpage of real madrid contacting barcelona , placing a 35 mil bid to get ibra ; now pep reports that they claim barcelona and man city have agreed a fee and whats left is the players signature.Come on!

  30. hey guys I have been working on a Barca blog for quite some time and I have now made it open.I would love if some of you guys could check it out and tell me what you think.’

    Link *http://futbolclubbarablog.weebly.com/

  31. firstly for there to be any possible transfer of Ibra this summer, there needs to be a logical reason, So far the new headlines have come up with ideas that do not make sense.

    For example, it has been stated that Ibra is not in Pep’s plans,hmm, well for that to be true, firstly, Ibra wouldn’t have been given a deep lying role that Pep consistently sticks too, otherwise if Pep didnt want him, why would he bother? secondly, Ibra would have to have had an awful performance in pre-season, yet he so far is top-scorer, and featured in every game.

    The papers keep ‘reporting’ that Ibra will be sold to club “insert here” and yet if that were true, Pep wouldn’t have played him in pre-season games so to prevent unexpected injuries.

    The papers consistently insist that Ibra doesn’t want to stay, yet various people like Pep and Ibra himself have been officially quoted on the fcbarelona website that Ibra intends to stay.

    and the latest headlines are that man city have already offered a contract, and it is the same as he is getting right now. But seriously why would a club like man city not offer more money since Ibra is not intending to leave?

    also, its funny being that there are all these rumours of Ibra leaving, but there is no news of us pursuing for another LW or ST, or have the newspaper forgot to add that to their stories?

    Lastly, Pep Guardiola was recently quoted that the club are looking for a possible transfer for one particular position on the team, yet if its one position, if Ibra was on the out, then Pep would be looking for a ST no?

    But the funny thing is, Pep himself said if we dont end up signing anyone he will use the b-teamers, and well is he really going to rely on b-teamers to cover as a no.9? but the b-team has no promising no.9 no?

    so serious, the only reason for Barcelona to Ibra is if there is some kind of benefit, but in reality there is no benefit. So all these headlines about Ibra leaving are illogical and flaws can easily be spotted out.

    1. I’m not sure when exactly you posted this, but on my watch, it starts in 1.5 hours. It’s at 2:30pm EST (NY and Ottawa time)

      Check out your time here:


  32. Part of why these nonsensical rumors about Ibra can even be fabricated at all is due to Rosell’s very public, ill-thought descriptions of Barca’s financial situation.

    It’s now not uncommon for people to believe Barca is on the brink of bankruptcy because the club “couldn’t make payroll,” etc or that the club is in dire financial shape (despite at the same time being willing to spend 40M on a player with no clear spot in the starting XI).

    So while it’s clear the Ibra rumors make no logical sense in so many ways, the underlying context is the idea that Barca is in financial trouble and is selling in part out of financial need.

    Take all the rumors to Milan. The story that kept coming up was a “loan.” As ridiculous as that is, why a loan? Because Milan can’t afford any transfers. Why would barca do this – to decrease it’s wage bill. Only teams in financial difficulties would do that.

    And when a business needs money they don’t necessarily behave rationally and often are motivated by desperation. So these rumors can gain traction without much logic over sporting issues, club needs or general market conditions.

  33. These ongoing Ibra rumours are starting to concern me a little. . I’m not really one of his fans so far and if we had sold him earlier I could see some arguments for it but we are very close to starting the new season and his departure now would mean a big change in our plans. For better or worse, I think we need to get settled to the fact that he will be leading the line, get behind him and give him some games to show that his end of season form was just a blip.

    1. I honestly think that Ibrahimovic will be sold before the window closes. He is Laporta’s bright, shining transfer, and Rosell I don’t believe, is a fan. His value will never be higher than it is right now, as it’s generally thought that players go downhill starting at 30. And lots of people want him.

      If Citeh can do a deal for Adebayor, they would buy Ibrahimovic tomorrow, but they’re about the only club that can afford him. I don’t think we want an Henry situation, where he’s too expensive to sell, so we have to let him go for cheap or on a free, just to unload the salary.

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