It looks like Barcelona are set to win La Liga for the fourth time in five seasons. They are currently seven points ahead of Atletico Madrid and nine points ahead of Real Madrid in the table, but they face a bit of a test this week. The Blaugrana must travel south to take on a Sevilla club that has given other top teams issues at home. Sevilla are in fourth in the table and they are 7-3-1 at home this campaign.
Don't miss the Spanish La Liga action from Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Sevilla, Spain at 2:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 23, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on beIN Sports.
La Liga Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Over/Under 3 and 3.5
Sevilla are sitting in fourth place and would qualify for the Champions League next year if they were to finish there, but there are a number of teams right behind them. There are ten teams within eight points of Sevilla, so they can’t afford many slip-ups if they want to return to Europe’s greatest tournament. Sevilla just made it to the Europa League Round of 16 following a 2-0 win over Lazio on Wednesday, but their results in league play have left something to be desired. They have just one point from their last three matches, losing to relegation-threatened Celta Vigo and Villarreal and drawing at home with Eibar.
Somehow Barcelona’s once unstoppable offense has seemingly hit a wall. They have just two goals in their last four matches in all competitions, and that has threatened their place in both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Their goals came against Real Madrid and Real Valladolid at home, but they were unable to find the back of the net on the road against either Athletic Bilbao or Lyon.
There have already been four meetings between these two sides this season, and Barca have continually got the better of Sevilla. They beat Sevilla 2-1 for the Spanish SuperCup at the start of the year, and the Blaugrana knocked Sevilla from the top of the table with a 4-2 win two months later. As fate would have it, these teams were next pitted against one another in the Copa del Rey Quarterfinals. Sevilla scored a surprising 2-0 win over Barca in the first leg of the competition, but Barca left no doubts on the return leg in a 6-1 rout.
At least three players will be sidelined for Barcelona this weekend. Rafinha is out for the season after tearing his ACL in November, while Arthur (strained hamstring) and Jasper Cillessen (calf) are both out for another few weeks. Thomas Vermaelen is questionable to play in this match too.
The hosts are still without Nolito after he broke his leg in early January. However, Sevilla are hoping that Jesus Navas, Sergio Escudero, and Aleix Vidal Parreu can return. All three are questionable as of Thursday. Sevilla may get a big boost with Maxime Gonalons and Joris Gnagnon possibly set to return though.
Matchup to Watch
Can Sevilla’s back line hold Barcelona at bay? The oddsmakers don’t seem to think so. With a total of 3 and 3.5, they are expecting Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, and Luis Suarez to run roughshod over this back line. There is a glimmer of hope for Sevilla though. Gonalons is one of the top defensive midfielders in Spain, so if he is at full strength he can be a difference maker.
Prop Bet: Under 2.5 Goals +158
I’m a believer in Gonalons, but I also don’t like the form we’ve seen from Barcelona recently. The wear and tear of a long season combined with little rest during the summer might finally be wearing down this veteran club, and that would explain their inability to score lately.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
Although I don’t think Barcelona will find a lot of success on the attack, I believe Sevilla will find even less. I’ll take Barca to get a road win that is lower scoring than the experts think.
Spanish La Liga Odds: Barcelona 2, Sevilla 0
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