A Spanish Night in Georgia
Like last season it’s an all-Spanish affair in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night as Champions League winners Barcelona take on La Liga rivals and Europa League winners Sevilla in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi (kick-off 7.45pm).
Unai Emery’s Sevilla, who secured back-to-back Europa League successes thanks to their victory over FC Dnipro in May, will be competing in the European champions’ dual for the fourth time in the last decade and the only time they have lifted the trophy came in their first appearance in 2006 when they cruised to a surprise 3-0 victory over Barcelona in Monaco.
It will also be Barça’s fourth appearance in the one-off match in the last ten years but they have enjoyed two victories in that time, making it four overall, with their last success coming back in 2011 when they saw off Porto 2-0.
Luis Enrique’s men will look to hit the ground running after their trophy-laden end to last season. Barça swept up the Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble in consecutive weeks and victory on Tuesday night will take them a step closer to securing an historic sextuple in 2015 with the Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup still to come.
Sevilla lost out in last year’s final against Gareth Bale and his Real Madrid teammates in Cardiff and they will be eager to hit back and take the trophy back to Andalusia 12 months on.
Barcelona are set to be without Neymar due to the Brazilian forward suffering from mumps but Emery’s men are still set to face the daunting task of keeping out Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Messi impressed in the annual Juan Gamper Trophy, scoring in the 3-0 victory over Roma, and showed little sign of fatigue after his summer involvement in the Copa America.
Former Liverpool man Suarez had a pre-season free from international involvement and will be fresh for the start of the season.
With that in mind Barcelona look in good enough form to get their campaign underway in trophy-winning fashion at 1/3. Seville will provide tough opposition but a winning margin of two goals for the Catalans offer longer odds of 3/1.
Messi bagged 43 league goals last season and the Argentine is 3/1 to open the scoring on Tuesday night. Suarez is 7/2 and if Manchester United target Pedro gets the nod to complete the front three the Spaniard is 4/1. The last time the sides met in the UEFA Super Cup Dani Alves took the man-of-the-match spoils wearing the Sevilla shirt and for a more ambitious bet you can get 25/1 on the jet-heeled full-back netting against his former club.
Sevilla will start competitive life without Colombian forward Carlos Bacca, who completed a move to Milan this summer, and will look elsewhere for goals. Kevin Gameiro netted a late equaliser the last time the sides met in the league and is 11/1 to score first. New arrival Ciro Immobile will look to get off to a flying start following his move from Borussia Dortmund and is also 11/1.
The last six meetings between the sides have brought goals for both teams and for the same to happen in the 55,000 Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena you can get odds of 4/6.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, August 11th at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi.