Fresh off sealing a hat-trick of Europa League triumphs, Sunday’s final of the King’s Cup presents Sevilla with the chance to further their reputation as Spain’s cup kings but they face a tough task of denying Barcelona their second trophy of the season .
The Copa del Rey enters its final stage on Sunday with League Champions Barcelona and Europa League winners Sevilla both vying for their second trophy of the season.
Barcelona beat Real Madrid to the La Liga crown on the final day with a 3-0 thrashing of Granada with in-form Luis Suarez netting a hat trick while Sevilla emerged the Europa League winners at the expense of Liverpool in an enthralling final in Basel that ended 3-1.
Unai Emery’s Sevilla will enter the final off the back of a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Europa League final on Wednesday night. Daniel Sturridge sent the English club into a 35th-minute lead in Switzerland, but Kevin Gameiro equalised 17 seconds into the second period, before the skipper Coke struck twice for the Spanish outfit.
Barcelona have been without the services of injured goalkeeper Claudio Bravo for the last two matches, but even if the Chilean is passed fit, cup stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start between the sticks.
Enrique has no fresh injury concerns from the 3-0 win over Granada next weekend, leaving Neymar, Messi and Suarez in the final third and a midfield three of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.
Sevilla, meanwhile, will be without the services of suspended midfielder Steven N’Zonzi. Michael Krohn-Dehli will also miss out with a fractured kneecap and Benoit Tremoulinas with knee ligament damage.
Experienced French centre-back Adil Rami, however, has insisted that he will be fit for the final despite suffering a knock against Liverpool in the Europa League final.
Emery is not expected to make too many changes to his XI from the Liverpool clash, leaving Gameiro, who has scored 25 times in all competitions this season, to lead the line ahead of Fernando Llorente. Sergio Rico, however, will return between the sticks to take the place of European goalkeeper David Soria.
Head to Head
As winners of last season’s Champions League and Europa League respectively, Barcelona and Sevilla met in the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the campaign. An incredible match saw the two teams play out a 4-4 draw in normal time, but Barcelona scored a fifth through Pedro in stoppage time to win the clash in Georgia.
Sevilla recorded a 2-1 victory when they welcomed Barcelona to Seville in the league last October and that match was actually the start of a 39-game unbeaten run for the Catalan giants. Their last meeting came at Camp Nou in February, with the home side running out 2-1 winners.
Despite Sevilla boasting a respectable record against Barcelona this season, history suggests that it will be very tough for Emery’s side this weekend. Indeed, Barcelona have won nine of their last 14 meetings in all competitions and only lost once. In fact, Sevilla have only beaten the Catalan giants once since the Spanish Super Cup in August 2010.