Looking to move another step closer to reclaiming their La Liga crown, Barcelona will make the trip to Champions League contenders Sevilla in what could be a lively contest on Friday night.
Making it two wins in as many appearances since returning from the enforced break, the defending champions have won their last three matchups either side of the interruption and have really started to crank up the pressure on a chasing Los Blancos.
On the flip side, while Sevilla might have been disappointed to have only collected a point against Levante on Monday night, the hosts do find themselves in the midst of an eight-match unbeaten run across all formats.
However, while Los Palanganas might find themselves holding a four-point buffer in the Champions League spots, Sevilla do hold a worrying record against the Spanish giants.
Hit with a 4-0 drumming when they made the trip to the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Barcelona have claimed the victory in each of their last three meetings against the Whites and another away win on Friday night can be found priced at 4/5 with William Hill.
Sevilla – The Hometown Specialists
Although Sevilla might have been left bitterly frustrated to have watched Levante snatch a late point earlier in the week, Los Palanganas are enjoying a standout campaign under one-time Spain boss Julen Lopetegui.
Inching past Romanian outfit CFR Cluj back in February and booking their spot in the quarter-final of this year’s Europa League, Friday’s hosts have gained a reputation for their eye-catching displays on home soil.
Marking their return from the enforced break with a 2-0 win against Real Betis, Sevilla have landed back-to-back victories at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán and are unbeaten in any La Liga home fixtures since opening 2020.
If the Whites are to land their first La Liga victory against the leaders since 2015, then Lopetegui will be calling on the red-hot Lucas Ocampos to lead their charge on Friday night.
Linked with a string of Europe’s elite after a stunning year for the top-four chasers, the 25-year-old has now failed to find the net in just two of his last eight La Liga appearances.
The only player in Sevilla’s camp to reach double digits so far this season, Ocampos can be found pencilled in at 3/1 with 888Sport to extend on his tally this week.
Who can stop Messi?
Picking up what eventually turned out to be a routine 2-0 victory against rock-bottom Leganes on Tuesday night, fans around Catalonia would have been impressed by Barcelona’s return from the enforced break.
Sat in pole position to lift their third consecutive La Liga title, Quique Setién’s men have collected maximum points over their last three top-flight appearances and have one leading marksman who has marked his return in some style.
Once again converting from the spot at the Nou Camp earlier in the week, six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has bagged back-to-back La Liga strikes since the interruption.
Finding the net in Barca’s return to action in what was a 4-0 romp away at Mallorca, the Argentina icon has recorded 21 domestic strikes so far this season and now sits seven goals clear of Karim Benzema in the race for the Golden Boot.
More impressive, already back to breaking La Liga records. Messi became the first player to score 20+ goals in 12 consecutive top-flight campaigns and the superstar should be looking to extend his tally on Friday night.
Also glad to see strike partner Luis Suarez make his return from injury earlier in the week, you might be interested to know that Messi can be found priced at 7/10 with Ladbrokes to make it three in three this week.