Spanish league champions FC Barcelona and Sevilla will go head to head in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday with the first title of the country’s domestic season in play.
Sevilla receive Barcelona in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium here just days after their 2-3 defeat to Real Madrid in the European Super Cup, reports Xinhua.
Sunday sees a rematch of last season’s Kings Cup final, which Sevilla ended with nine men after Kolo and Carricio were sent off and the duo are suspended for Sunday’s game as a result.
Meanwhile Sergio Rico will start in goal for Sevilla after David Soria fractured a bone in his hand, an injury which will keep him out of action for five or six weeks.
All eyes will of course be on superstar Lionel Messi as Barcelona take to the pitch, not least because on Friday he announced the end of his short-lived retirement from the Argentine national team.
Messi was back to his best in Barcelona’s traditional season opening match of the season against Italian side Sampdoria. He scored two goals and an assist for fellow striker Luis Suarez, who will partner him in attack.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will start in goal as a result of the knee injury suffered by Ter Stegen, while defender Jordi Alba’s absence as the result of a stomach upset will allow recent arrival Lucas Digne to make his competitive debut at left back.
Barcelona confirmed in the Sampdoria match that they score goals with ease, but also showed they have to work hard to organise the defence, which conceded 2 soft goals in the match.
Last season saw Barcelona suffer a shock 1-5 aggregate defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Super Cup which should mean they must avoid overconfidence.