As winners of Europe's two premier competitions, La Liga duo Barcelona and Sevilla will clash in the European Super Cup on Tuesday evening in Georgia...


During Luis Enrique's first season in charge of Barcelona, the Spaniard delivered the La Liga title, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey during what was an incredible campaign for the Catalan outfit. 

The new La Liga season does not actually begin until the weekend of August 22, but due to Barca's success last term, they have a packed fixture list over the next couple of weeks. A two-legged Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Bilbao will quickly arrive, but their immediate focus is on the European Super Cup, with Sevilla their opponents in Georgia.

Barcelona are the second-most successful team in the history of this particular competition, having lifted the trophy on four occasions, the last of which came in 2011. Only AC Milan (five) have won the trophy more times, but Real Madrid are the holders after beating Sevilla last year.

The Catalan outfit's pre-season thus far has been quite underwhelming – they beat LA Galaxy in their opener in the United States, but were then beaten by Manchester United and Chelsea.

Enrique's side then faced Fiorentina in Florence, where they were lost 2-1 to make it three straight defeats. The cavalry – Lionel Messi, Neymar & co – returned for the Joan Gamper Trophy against Roma last time out, however, and the South American pair were both on the scoresheet in a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Looking ahead, Barca will travel to Bilbao for the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Friday, before the second leg takes place at the Camp Nou on August 17 in what is the second of three straight meetings between the duo. The following weekend, the holders will open their La Liga defence away to the Basque outfit.

Recent form: WLLLW


Sevilla just missed out on qualification for the Champions League via their league position last season, but a second successive Europa League title secured their spot in the group stages of Europe's premier competition.

It had been thought that their challenge for the top four in La Liga would harm any potential Europa League journey, but Unai Emery's side once again showed their class throughout the competition to continue their grand success in Europe.

Two key players have left this summer, however, withCarlos Bacca moving onto AC Milan and Aleix Vidal joining Barcelona. Sevilla will not have to worry about facing the latter in this particular match though, with the Spaniard not eligible to represent his new club until January 2016.

The money gained from those two sales has been reinvested, however, with Steven N'Zonzi, Iago Aspas,Gael Kakuta and Adil Rami among those that have arrived. Ciro Immobile has also arrived on loan from Borussia Dortmund, while Michael Krohn-Dehli and Yevhen Konoplyanka have both moved to the Estadio Ramon on free transfers.

Having lost in the final of the European Super Cup last season, Sevilla will be keen to put things right this time around. Their pre-season form has been a little mixed, however, with eight matches bringing just three victories. They will also enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with AEK Athens last time out.

Looking ahead, Sevilla will open the new La Liga campaign on August 21 away to Malaga. Another push for the top four will be expected, but balancing the Champions League and domestic football will again be a challenge for Emery and his team.

Recent form: LWWLD

Team News

Barcelona will be without the services of Neymar, who has been diagnosed with mumps, which could see the Brazilian miss the start of the La Liga season.

As a result, Messi and Luis Suarez will be joined by a new partner in the final third and it could be Pedro, who continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United. Indeed, it could be the Spaniard's last appearance in a Barcelona shirt.

Jordi Alba is still struggling with a thigh problem, meaning that Jeremy Mathieu should start at left-back. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, meanwhile, should keep his spot in goal ahead of Claudio Bravo.

As for Sevilla, on-loan Borussia Dortmund forward Immobile is expected to start after recovering from a broken nose and could be joined in the final third by Kevin Gameiro.

Nicolas Pareja is still injured, but there could be official debuts for three players, with Mariano and Rami expected to join Immobile in the first XI. N'Zonzi, however, is out with a stomach bug...


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