Pizjuán, litmus test for the new Barça

Xavi Hernández, Barça coach. / Quique Garcia (Efe)

Matchday 4

Xavi's men are looking for three points that will allow them to continue with the good feelings and climb the table

Barcelona is looking for this Saturday at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán to strike a blow on the table. The team led by Xavi Hernández visits one of the, a priori, most complicated stadiums in Spanish football with the aim of continuing with the good feelings shown against Real Sociedad and Valladolid. A new victory would confirm that trend, could lift the Catalans to the top of the table and would make the crisis of a Sevilla in low hours that still does not know victory after three days even greater.

“It is a difficult start, it is misleading that Sevilla have not won. They carry one of nine and will be very aggressive. We must play our game and try to show our best version. It is an important acid test », assured Xavi a day after he finished the transfer market and a day before his team has a crucial game to increase confidence in the new project. The Catalan coach does not want excesses of confidence due to the bad start of Julen Lopetegui's men and focused on the duel against the team from Seville. He did, yes, at a press conference in which he also claimed to feel "satisfied" with the new additions and with the aim of "competing for everything."

Xavi's happiness stems from a practically perfect transfer market for Barcelona. The Catalans have been signing Christensen, Kessié, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Koundé, Bellerín and Marcos Alonso one after another. Seven key footballers to renew the project and seven more arguments to think that it could be the year of the Catalans. The first meetings have fueled that feeling that is already running through Barcelona and this weekend an exam of those that must be passed with flying colors arrives. Sevilla away from home is a game marked in red, an opportunity to strengthen the style and continue showing muscle, as the Catalans did against Real Sociedad and Valladolid. Those eight goals in two games are the best guarantee for a group that faces the event full of confidence.

To achieve the assault on Pizjuán, Xavi will also be able to count on all his players, except for those who have left the club at the last minute. Braithwaite, Abde, Dest and Aubameyang are no longer in a team that has Héctor Bellerín and that will sooner rather than later have Marcos Alonso. Neither of them will be, except for a major surprise, in an eleven for which the Tarrasa coach is not preparing major changes. Koundé could be a right back on his return to Seville, Balde would repeat as a left winger, the midfield would once again be for Busquets, Pedri and Gavi and above the casting is still open to find the perfect companion for Dembélé and Lewandowski, both fixed in attack at this start of the season.

A rival in crisis

It will not be an easy game for Barcelona. Sevilla arrives at the fourth day with the urgent need to add three points that will allow them to leave behind the sporting crisis with which the season has started. Lopetegui's team is experiencing a rarefied atmosphere after a transfer market in which pillars such as Koundé, Diego Carlos or Lucas Ocampos have left and in which the reinforcements have not satisfied all parties. "Important players have come out and we have to be able to put the puzzle together under these conditions," said the Basque coach this Friday, after the last market day.

To form that puzzle, Lopetegui will be able to count on Kasper Dolberg from this Saturday. The 24-year-old Danish striker is the big news, after closing his signing on Thursday, in a squad list in which Adnan Januzaj is not yet, still lacking rhythm having not done preseason after finishing his contract with the Real society. Nor will Marcao, Tecatito Corona and Rekik be part of the game due to physical problems.

Likely lineups

  • Seville:
    Bono, Navas, Nianzou, Gudelj, Acuña, Jordán, Fernando, Óliver Torres, Lamela, Papu Gómez and Rafa Mir.

  • Barcelona:
    Ter Stegen, Koundé, Araujo, Eric García, Balde, Busquets, Pedri, Gavi, Dembélé, Lewandowski and Ferran Torres.

  • Referee:
    Mateu Lahoz (Valencian Committee).

  • Hour:
    9:00 p.m.

  • Stadium:
    Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

  • TV:
    Movistar LaLiga.

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