Mark O’Haire’s Copa Del Rey Final Tips – Barcelona v SevillaStats
Barcelona v Sevilla
Both Barcelona and Sevilla have already secured silverware this season but on Sunday night the two La Liga teams go head-to-head at the Vicente Calderon in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona v Sevilla, Sunday 22nd May 2016, 20.30, Sky Sports 1
A month ago, Barcelona’s league lead had almost disappeared. But five matches later and the Catalans were crowned champions for the eighth occasion in 12 years having scored 24 goals without reply.
It was a menacing response from Luis Enrique’s men and now the Blaugrana are looking to complete another domestic double. No side in Spain has won the Copa del Rey more often than Barcelona (27), who’ve also made the final in six of the past eight campaigns.
Barca began the season looking to successfully defend their 2014/15 treble but exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stage against Atletico Madrid hit the club hard. However, their impressive recovery has ensured the Catalans are firm 1/4 favourites to clinch another crown.
Luis Enrique has no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday night and can call upon Europe’s player of the season in Luis Suarez to lead the line alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar. Suarez scored 59 times in 52 appearances whilst the superstar trio has plundered a whopping 130 goals between them.
Barcelona have beaten Sevilla in nine of their last 14 meetings (W9-D4-L1) since their Spanish Super Cup reverse back in August 2010 and breezed their way to the final.
But Sevilla also impressed, netting 22 goals in eight Copa del Rey matches and conceding only two goals in the second leg of their semi-final.
Confidence in the Los Rojiblancos camp should be high after Wednesday night’s stunning come-from-behind Europa League final victory – the Andalusians third straight success in Europe’s secondary club competition – but the emotional and physical exertions could come back to haunt here.
Unai Emery’s men gave their La Liga campaign little thought in the dying embers of the campaign, preferring to focus their energies on their two cup finals. Sevilla concluded their season with a total of 14 league losses, 12 points off the top-four and with seven defeats in nine; but it’s worth ignoring those trends.
Sevilla’s Europa League triumph has seen the side automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League meaning it’s mission accomplished for the Los Rojiblancos hierarchy. A second cup success would be seen as a bonus this weekend.
Sevilla haven’t actually lost a Copa del Rey final since 1962 and whilst they’ve suffered just three defeats to their Catalan opponents by more than a one-goal margin across their last 12 encounters, finding the faith to support Unai Emery’s men remains unappealing.
Nevertheless, the side from the south can stay competitive. The Andalusians showed their scoring prowess when beating Liverpool and can play their part, even if Barcelona’s class eventually tells. The offer of 13/10 to back a far-from-convincing Barca defence to concede whilst winning in 90 minutes stands out.
Bets, Bets, Bets
It might also be worth taking aim at the correct score market with Barcelona to win 2-1 (15/2) and 3-1 (8/1) making most appeal. Recent meetings between these sides have been closely contested affairs whilst the last nine have all delivered winning Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals winners – six peaking above the Over 3.5 Goals threshold.
A huge 24 of Barcelona’s past 31 outings have seen at least three goals scored with 15 breaching the three-goal line with Sevilla seeing 22 successful Over 2.5 Goals winners this calendar year, it makes sense to try and land a big-priced winner in the Spanish curtain-closer on Sunday night.
Barcelona to win and Both Teams To Score (11/8)
Barcelona to win 2-1 (15/2)
Barcelona to win 3-1 (8/1)
*Prices correct at time of publication