Can Barcelona prevent a Catalonian catastrophe against Sevilla this weekend?

Ronald Koeman's side face an in-form Sevilla team on Saturday who have made an impressive start to 2021 so far, and only a victory will suffice if Blaugrana are to keep their title hopes alive.

Ronald Koeman's turbulent tenure at the helm of Barcelona continued on Sunday night as his deflated group of players conceded an 89th-minute equaliser against 14th-placed Cadiz, as their dreams of a 27th La Liga title continue to slip through their fingers.

Blaugrana took the lead at Camp Nou through a Lionel Messi spot-kick, but were left to rue a series of missed chances and defensive frailties as Cadiz rescued a point with a penalty of their own, with their only shot on target in the game.

The result not only ended a streak of four consecutive losses for Cadiz but also stopped a run of seven league wins for the Catalonians, who slumped into fourth position as they fell further behind both Madrid clubs.

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Leapfrogging Barca into third were a high-flying Sevilla side who are unbeaten in their last ten games in Spanish football under manager Julen Lopetegui - including a 2-0 triumph over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Luuk de Jong and Diego Carlos both found the net as Los Sevillistas dismantled Osasuna at the El Sadar stadium, as they continued their impeccable run of form throughout 2021.

Despite this however, Blaugrana have a golden opportunity to make up lost ground on the Seville outfit when the two sides meet at Camp Nou this weekend, in a monumental La Liga clash that could make or break them both.

Although many of the home faithful will be wary of another disappointing result, they certainly have gained the upper hand in previous clashes with Sevilla, and we've broken down the stats.

Stat attack

The astounding Lionel Messi is the top scorer in this fixture with 37 goals in just 41 games against Los Sevillistas, and given the Argentine's impressive goal tally this season thus far, the visitors will need to be alert defensively to keep him out.

Sevilla haven't won away at Barca in La Liga since 2002 - of the 15 league games since, Blaugrana have won 13 with the two teams drawing just twice - with their last victory in all competitions coming over a decade ago inthe 2009/10 Copa del Rey.

The last 10 meetings between the two sides have produced an average of 4.2 goals, with Koeman's side scoring 33 (78%) and the southern Spaniards notching up just 9, with an average of 0.9 goals per game to their opponent's 3.3.

Of the 173 matches between the two, Barcelona have been victorious on 95 occasions (55% win ratio) with their opponents coming out on top 41 times (23% win ratio) and the two teams cancelling each other out on 37 times.

In terms of overall goalscoring, the Catalonians also reign supreme having scored 357 (62%) of the 570 goals across these fixtures with Sevilla finding the net 213 times (38%).

Let's delve further into some of the great clashes between the two over the past few years.

Memorable matches

Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla

Copa del Rey

January 30, 2019

A Phillipe Coutinho brace helped Barcelona to rock a shell-shocked Sevilla at the Nou Camp as they overcame a 2-0 defeat away from home to thrash Los Sevillistas 6-3 on aggregate to book their place in the final.

The Brazillian kickstarted the comeback in the 13th minute from the penalty spot, whilst Sevilla failed to extend their advantage with a penalty of their own, Jasper Cillesen saved Ever Banega's penalty to keep the momentum with the hosts before Ivan Rakitic levelled the scores by half-time.

Rampant Blaugrana displays in the second half saw them turn the aggregate scoreline around in emphatic fashion, Coutinho scored his second less than a minute before Sergi Roberto made it 4-0 to the hosts.

In a late flurry from their sanctimonious South Americans, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both finished deadly passing moves as the Catalonians undeniably outplayed and outclassed the Seville outfit.

Unfortunately for Barca, they fell at the final hurdle as they were defeated 2-1 by Valencia, who were crowned Copa del Rey champions for an eighth time.

Barcelona 5-1 Sevilla

La Liga

November 22, 2014

A heroic hat-trick from Lionel Messi destroyed Sevilla in a 5-1 victory of the highest quality from Luis Enrique's side, as the Argentinian sensationally became the highest goal scorer in La Liga history, beating legendary Bilbao forward Telmo Zarra with his 253rd goal in just 250 games.

Opening the scoring with a fantastic free-kick, the Argentine superbly swerved the ball over the wall, as it rocketed past a helpless Beto in the Sevilla goal to level Zarra on 251, in the only highlight of a quiet first half.

In a second half that greatly opposed the events of the first, a packed Camp Nou crowd were treated to five goals as the rampant Catalonians unleashed a performance of champions - in the opening four minutes Sevilla found a foothold through a Jordi Alba own goal before Blaugrana quickly regained the lead through Neymar.

Ivan Rakitic extended the lead then a brilliant brace from the Argentine saw him usurp the great Spaniard at the summit of Spanish goalscoring royalty as his adoring team-mates proudly held him aloft.

Sevilla 0-5 Barcelona

Copa del Rey final

April 21, 2018

Barcelona epitomised the extent of their breathtaking brilliance in the 2018 Copa del Rey final, dominating Los Sevillistas to win their fourth consecutive final in the competition.

Utilising their world-class attacking threat throughout the pitch, Blaugrana had put the game to bed in the first half as usual suspects in Messi and Luis Suarez - who scored a 40-minute brace - found the scoresheet with ease as Jose Carmona's side were defensively destructed.

Events in the second half were more of the same - nullifying their opposition, entertaining the travelling Catalonian faithful and scoring some great goals, a fitting finish for Andres Iniesta - in his last cup final win with the club- and a Coutinho penalty wrapped up a terrific triumph for the goliaths of Spanish football.

The famous victory secured Barcelona's 30th Copa del Rey title as they continued to rewrite the history books of European football.

Barcelona 5-4 Sevilla

UEFA Super Cup

August 11, 2015

In a nine-goal spectacle in Georgia, an all Spanish UEFA Super Cup final was edged in extra-time by Blaugrana as the two teams showcased the immense capabilities - and possible defensive problems - that Spanish football had to offer.

The game had already seen three goals in its first 15 minutes, responding to an early Sevilla goal from Ever Banega, Lionel Messi scored two spectacular free-kicks to shift the balance of the game in Barcelona's favour.

It appeared that they has breezed past their age-old opponents when Rafinha and Luis Suarez extended the difference to three, unbeknownst to everyone however, a valiant Sevilla comeback began to emerge,

Jose Antonio Reyes and Kevin Gameira provided lifelines for Los Sevillistas before Ukrainian winger, Yehven Konoplyanka iconically equalised with 10 minutes to go, as the enthralling encounter rolled on into extra time.

Ultimately however, a ninth and final goal was scored in the 115th minute of the game, and it settled the explosive bout once and for all, breaking Sevilla hearts in the process.

A Lionel Messi strike from range was palmed away by Beto, but fell as far as Pedro who poked the ball home, cueing euphoric celebrations on the Barcelona bench, as they drew level with AC Milan for most victories in the competition.

Tip of the Fixture

Paddy Power are offering odds of 13/5 for both teams to score and Barcelona to win.

(Odds correct at time of writing, subject to change).

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