Copa del Rey Final: Barcelona v Sevilla - Fatigue And Quality Means Barca Will Land Domestic Double


Both teams go into this game in a celebratory frame of mind.

It is La Liga Champions (again) versus Europa League winners (again) and it is a wonderful way to wrap up the domestic season in Spain.

I have no doubt that Barcelona have a major advantage going into this game, other than that they are obviously the better team, it is the advantage that Sevilla are having to recover from the physical and emotional exertions that they went through in Basel on Wednesday evening against Liverpool.

I firmly believe the pressure was on Sevilla coach Unai Emery going into the two finals due to their under achievement in La Liga this season, and the Liverpool game always represented their best chance of winning one of them. There was a warning from the Sevilla sporting director Monchi Rodriguez going into the Liverpool game that the club were really disappointed with the domestic campaign and seventh place was totally unacceptable. Nobody will admit it now but if Sevilla had lost both finals then I believe Emery's position would have been in doubt. Now he is being lauded as a hero, another example of that thin line in sporting success or failure.

With the pressure released, the big question is can Sevilla go again on Sunday evening? Emery loves to rotate his team, sometimes too much in fact, but it would be understandable if he elects to do that against Barcelona and he does have the players in reserve to do exactly that.

Good players who could come into the reckoning include Jose Antonio Reyes, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Fernando Llorente, Vicente Iborra and Nico Pareja. None of these played a significant part in Wednesday's game and all are capable of performing against Barcelona if need be.

Whilst Sevilla were preparing, travelling and giving their all against Liverpool, not to mention rightly celebrating, Luis Enrique has had a full 8 days since Barcelona wrapped up another La Liga title.

Everybody is fit and available for Barcelona apart from goalkeeper Claudio Bravo so Marc Andre Ter Stegen will continue in goal as he usually does anyway in Cup games and I fully expect the team to be unchanged from last week with the usual starting XI.

If Sevilla are to succeed, as they did in the home La Liga game against Barcelona this season by two goals to one, then I think they are going to have to make the most of opportunities from set pieces. They can have a real height advantage over Barca if Emery picks the big players and they have plenty of them!

However, I'm going to go for a Barcelona win, having correctly predicted exactly their last two scores of 5-0 v Espanyol and 3-0 against Granada I'm going for a hat trick.

My prediction in this game is another 3-0 win for Enrique's team.

It's fair to assume that Luis Suarez is in a confident mood with just the 14 goals in his last 5 games and it also should be a worry for Sevilla that they are one of Lionel Messi's favourite teams to play against having 25 career goals to date against them.

Barca to have too much for Sevilla.

 

Terry’s Tips

Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla 10.00

Messi to score at least 2 goals 3.50