In a competition as oligarchic as LaLiga, because in the last 14 seasons the duopoly Barça (nine laurels) and Madrid (four) has only left a celebration for Atlético (2014), Sevilla is presented as a new alternative, as the team modest who wants to plant his flag. And nothing better than a match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou (20.45, Movistar Partidazo) to gauge its effervescence, if it is temporary as it was the Valencia in the previous year or on the contrary is perennial, Sevilla ready to discuss the trophy. "It's the match of the day," agreed Pablo Machín, Sevilla coach; "From there it is likely that the leader comes out and I hope it is the same as now," he said, before Alavés' victory against Celta (0-1), which gives him the provisional lead with 17 points, 16 Sevilla and 15 of Barça.
Ripped the weed from the bad game with the inclusion of Arthur in the core, Valverde has found the balance that his team exhibited last season and that had been lost at the beginning of this, committed the technician (and the directive) in giving reel to Dembélé as an extreme. A bet that remembered the time of Luis Enrique and his trident because Barca football was more vertical than leisurely, but without so much impact because the Frenchman is not Neymar and therefore they did not look at so many defenses. In addition, Barça suffered horrors in the transition. Of the three points only Luis Suárez was worn out in the pressure, so the gaps in the shaft were huge and made go with the tongue out to a Busquets that everything does not come.
But with Arthur He hit the nail on the head because he is a copy of Xavi, a player who turns his neck and discounts lines with a single pass. It also helps to conserve the spherical and allows Coutinho, always more of jog and stick than of composition, to screw up as an extreme and bring out its virtues. The bet worked in Europe against Tottenham and Valencia missed little.
Messi's favorite rival
Barcelona is fortunate, in any case, to have 10 in the dressing room and on the mat. There is no other like Messi, that in this exercise goes out to goal for match (11 and 11), able to mean without the help of his teammates but always the best when Barça football is associative and choral. And he does not have another rival more punished than Sevilla. He has drilled the net on 31 occasions (24 in LaLiga, five in the Supercopa of Spain and two in the European Super Cup), ahead of Atlético (he endorsed 28 points), Madrid (26) and Valencia (25) . Knowing the figures, also that his team has recovered the pace for more than accumulate four consecutive games in LaLiga without winning (Girona, Leganés, Athletic and Valencia), Valverde is clear: "Although we do not know how the game can raise the Sevilla, because for the opponents it is always special to measure ourselves, we will be prepared ", says the Barça coach; "But surely they will try to maintain their style. And, being up in the classification, one looks forward to winning anyone and I am clear that they will not reserve anything. " This is what Machín believes: "We are not going to spend the afternoon, but with the idea that we have many options to achieve something positive".
With Umtiti and Vermaelen in the rebound, Barça only has two centers to face the duel. "Lenglet left a difficult vacuum to cover here and the other center is Piqué. The 11 that are going to leave are top"retorted Machín. Although there are many voices that have questioned the moment of Pique, to the point of ensuring that he is more aware of his business than of the ball. "I do not care what he does. De Piqué only bothers me that he has had a great idea [la nueva Davis] and it has not occurred to me, "settled Valverde, who also wanted to clarify his vision about grassroots football. "My perception of the quarry is very good. I trust Puig, Cuenca, Busquets, Aleñà, Chumi … I have no doubt that they will be first-class players and now they have to take advantage of the chances given by the coach, "Valverde countered.