Sevilla – Barcelona Supercopa de España Pt. 2

So here we go again… our final match before La Liga commences, and our third and final ‘Final’ match in the space of a week! Phew!

Under normal circumstances it would be foolish to rule out a 2nd leg comeback when only two goals behind, but as we all know, tonight’s game is NOT under normal circumstances. For a start we do not wish to be exhausted and/or the walking wounded (more than we already are) before we have even kicked a La Liga ball on Saturday. Secondly, the chances of coming back from 0-2 against a settled and trophy hungry FC Barcelona in the Nou Camp are about as slim as they can get for any team in the world, never mind an injury stricken and newly assembled one like ours.

With these circumstances in mind, ‘rotation’ is undoubtedly going to be the buzz word for all of a Sevilla FC persuasion tonight. Sampaoli has already been quoted in the press conference that he would “modify some things” so we can expect to see some key players rested (I would imagine Vitolo, Mariano, Vasquez etc. will sit this one out), with some others who didn’t feature in the last two games getting a start (Ben Yedder, Ganso, Konoplyanka, Sarabia etc.).

Word from some sources suggest that youth players David Carmona and Diego Gonzalez might get a start. I am not too sure how confident I am about that if Sampaoli goes ahead with youth players, as we may as well just have the trophy presentation and forget all about the game in that case. Barcelona are not likely to rotate too much, and will be happy to entertain their home crowd and kick their season off with a domestic trophy after a stylish win.

With Emery it was hard enough to predict what he was going to do on any given match day, but now we have a new guy to try and figure out! So trying to predict our starting XI and formation, never mind what will happen in the game, is proving to be a difficult challenge. I have decided to imagine the following 4 possible scenarios:

Best case scenario: A gallant performance, but ultimately too little too late with regards to turning the tie around, with new guys like Ben Yedder and Ganso getting some valuable minutes and giving us some optimism that things aren’t that bad after all. 90 minutes similar to the Copa del Rey Final in May would be ideal, with a confidence boosting goal from one of our new strikers being an added bonus.

Worst case scenario: Shooting practice! Barcelona turn on the style, run us ragged and score 7 or 8 goals, eclipsing their drubbing of Valencia last season, meanwhile consigning us to the new laughing stock of Spanish football. To twist the knife even further, we lose more players to injury for the big game on Saturday.

Improbable scenario: We give it our best shot with a highly rotated team, Barcelona take us for granted, Konoplyanka summons the spirit of Ever Banega, pulls all the strings and we score three goals (Ben Yedder hat trick) without reply, subsequently lifting aloft the Super Cup trophy, giving us a massive boost going into the league season leaving Sevillistas everywhere celebrating long into the night!

Probable scenario: We rotate heavily and lose the game without much of a fight, treating it as one last glorified pre-season friendly before the real business begins. Some valuable playing time for some fringe players looking to improve fitness and impress Sampaoli (not to mention us at home) and a return trip to Seville tomorrow with our heads held high. Barcelona also play in 2nd gear, knowing that their lead is not in danger, keeping their own players fresh for the season ahead, whilst scoring a few goals for the TV cameras along the way.

With this in mind, I am going for a score prediction of: FCB 3 Sevilla 1 (5-1 agg)

So, what begun last Tuesday as a series of highly anticipated games that promised so much, will probably end as a series of games that we will all be glad to see the back of tomorrow morning.

As always, regardless of the outcome ¡VAMOS MI SEVILLA!

N.B: local kick off time is 23:00!!! Crazy!

Will you be watching tonight, and if so where from? What are your predictions, expectations, hopes and fears for the game?

I’m looking forward to your insightful comments below.  And if you’re anxious for more content, we’ve been firing on all cylinders over here.  Make sure you don’t miss Jeremy’s excellent transfer season recap.

Comments 100

  1. beat mercado on that i think? but clever run… tricked the defense it seems.

    ganso off. mudo on. ganso did almost nothing.

    1. i think we have to be a bit more patient with him. he’s been injured so im guessing he’s not fully fit.

    1. oops! missed that.

      mascherano injured… yikes. barca have a number of injuries going into jornada 1.

      iniesta, mascherano, neymar… im forgetting someone else i think.

  2. what’s interesting is,

    The guys bought for emery – sarabia & kiyotake, are harding working guys

    while the guys bought for sampaoli – Franco, Ganso, Correa, Kran… not so much.

    1. troubling. but we’ll see. i think its also tough for everyone when you’re still learning a system… makes people less decisive etc. but your initial observation is true.

    2. Interesting observation Carl. I’d agree with that as it really seems so. It was surprising to see Kiyotake do well immediately in his first match in pre-season. It’s not that he “fitted well” or “gelled” into the system… but his work rate camouflaged that… and others who are lazier couldn’t… especially Kranevitter.

      More than the lack of hard-working players, I’d say we lack FIGHTERS. Gameiro, Krycho, Banega, Coke… they all had something in common… the fighting spirit. That is after all, what we loved them most for at the end. That is why it will be hard to replace them… especially Krycho… a type of player like him is hard to find in today’s market. I’d go even as far as saying that Krycho is more of a fighter and hard worker than Pogba…. ?

      Nevertheless, let’s hope that things will get sorted out quickly. There is time in disposal. Can’t wait for the official start of the season on Saturday. Bring on Espanyol!


  3. well. disappointing but not surprising. first half could’ve gone very differently if we’d finished our chances. but we didnt and it didnt. so. that’s that.

    still learning mixed things about our players…. some discouraging. some hopeful.

    looking forward to our first game that matters this weekend.

  4. I’m very disappointed with iborra for taking the pen. Konoplaynka was walking up to take it but iborra took the ball. We’ve had a bit of hard luck here and there mainly down to our own making. But I’m a bit nervous now. Ganso was way off pace, a real disappointing debut. Kranevitter hasn’t done much. Overall I feel we should be doing much better than this. Barca haven’t really gother out of first gear and we’ve been totally out played.

  5. I worried for Sergio Rico. He might be going from promising young GK to a player lacking in confidence from his ball-playing issues, and ultimately lack in form overall. Hope he keeps his head up.

    If anything, we should feel blessed we had the chance to play these glorified friendlies against the top tier in LaLiga. We now know on what level we need to play on. I’m sure Sampaoli will drill this into his players, cause I feel we’re within reach of having a very dangerous team on our hands.

    Honestly, Diego Gonzalez had a spectacular game. We should keep him on while Carriço & Kolo are still suspended for the first 2 Liga games.

    Also, Shendm’s right on the money that we have no idea what we’re doing when in the final third. Only against a 10-man Barça that we had a look in on goal. Our 1st half was better though.

    1. Agreed… Diego Gonzalez should be a starter alongside Rami and Mercado for the 2 La Liga matches. I’d even give him more minutes than Kolo to be honest, and the best of it all is that he is a cantera… so a good sign for the CL quota.

  6. Well… our B team sucks anyway. Let’s hope the A team will gather quickly and show us that this system and the new signings and all this turnaround really works.

    Diego Gonzalez has potential… but he lacks experience… a lot. He needs to be featured in all CDR matches as starter and in some matches vs. weak teams. I’d start him over Kolo any day, although it will take him maybe 1 season to get Kolo’s experience… but he has way more defensive talent and potential… time will tell.

    Vietto tried to do the midfielder’s job there in a couple of occasion… but still, Ben Yedder seems to be better so far.

    Someone mentioned why we need Caio… I guess he’s not going to come here for a CB backup… rather a DM starter. Can’t trust Krane right?

    As for Ganso… Sampaoli said I’m going to turn him into a new Pirlo…. given his 1 and a quarter match performances, that is impossible. However, we should not give up on Ganso just yet… he’s not 100% fit and may come back stronger than ever. I just hope it’s not the system that is not suiting him… like Iborra for instance. Iborra with Emery’s system was an above average player… a very decent one in many matches. With Sampaoli… he’s useless… come on Jorge… Iborra as CB? Have you heard that he has not even featured as DM for Emery? His Levante days are long gone.

    In overall… Sampaoli will need a reality check after these 3 matches. It seemed to be all good and sweet until the second half of the first match vs. Barca. Now things need to get done right or it might be too late to fix them.

    We will have a much clearer image of the team when we have a fully fit and ready to play squad, but in overall the upcoming matches vs. Espanyol at home and Villarreal away before the international break, will tell a lot for the season to come.

    I still have trust in Monchi and Sampaoli. We urgently need a couple of signings though. a DM, LB, CF should be priorities (at least DM and LB).

    1. Yes I agree. Gonzalez will need more games to get accustomed to this level of play. Even Kolo can look good in a few games, but then go completely off the boil once the pressure is on.

      Also, after just 80-90 min over 2 games, I won’t right off Ganso just yet. Monchi mentioned his recovery took longer than expected and is still a bit behind. So I understand his lack of fitness. But he could’ve at least challenged for the ball more. It looked to me that he was the one hiding.

      1. Yeah… it seems that this system requires a lot of showing up, fighting and hard-working. Sometimes I think this system is great… but can it really work for 50+ matches that we end up playing all season as usual? This style of play will need a lot of back-ups and rotation.. as it will tire the hell out of the players, and there might also be some injuries along the way because of the training regimen and the exhaustion in the matches because of the pressure, lots of running etc. We should really hope and pray that we won’t have bad luck with injuries as that might also be key to the system working or not… or having success with this particular system.

        It is true though… if players like Krane, Ganso and a couple of others will play hide and seek during matches… that will not mean the system is a failure… rather we still don’t have the right players for this system to work.

        It worked very well with Chile, because they already had the players… and they have someone like Vidal. He is a dragon in midfield… not only a beast. He is the key to Chile’s and Bayern’s midfield… that’s not something to overlook. That is why Sampaoli had it easier in Chile. Also, NT football is way different from club football… things that work there might not work here and vice-versa. Moreover, in a national team competition there might be 6-7 matches max… while with a club like Sevilla you will have 50+ matches in a season, a crucial difference.

      2. Lol at Vidal being a dragon, not only a beast. It’s true though. He’s world class at his position (top 5), and we have no central midfielder near that quality.

        You’re also spot on about if this team will still be left standing after another possible 50+ game season. Both of Bielsa’s Athletic & Marseille teams struggled with this, and ran out of steam towards the end of their respective campaigns. We probably have a deeper squad than those 2 clubs had, but we’ve already seen a fair share of injuries. Sampaoli has mentioned that he’ll rotate during the first few games of the season, so he’ll always look to put out a fresh team. The first 2 games against Espanyol & Villarreal, which won’t be easy for distinctive reasons, will be a good measure of how well JS got his team playing. I challenge him to win both.

  7. I can’t really describe how much I dislike watching Konoplyanka. Every time he gets the ball, you just know it’s a wasted possession. Where is his amazing shot that we kept being told about? I wonder if that will change at any point, especially since Sampaoli seems to like him.

    Honestly, we could have scored at least a couple of goals if it hadn’t been for players being greedy. Sarabia had somebody (Correa? Ben Yedder?) WIDE OPEN when he took an awful shot that wasn’t even on target. These guys aren’t a team yet. That could change, but I don’t know if this coach is the man to do it. I hope he is, but I’m really scared of his comments about playing with style being what he wants to be remembered for. I want results.

    This particular game was a bust from the beginning, so I’m not really going to take anything about it as particularly negative beyond just lazy passing from certain players. I do, however, think that getting the defense back will help tremendously, especially since Pareja, Rami, and Carrico can all pass very well.

    What I will take from this game is that Correa looked REALLY skilled. I want him, Vitolo, and Mudo all on the field at once. N’Zonzi seems to work better in this system than Iborra, but that might change over time. Iborra is talented and plays hard when he needs to. I doubt anybody really felt that they could change the course of this game and I can hardly blame them.

    I hope that, at very least, we see Sampaoli play the 1st string against the top level teams and start the 2nd string against the “easier” guys. With Emery, I constantly felt like we were playing a mixed bag team no matter how important the game was. Kranevitter and Vietto can likely play up to snuff against 8-10 Liga teams and that suits me fine. We know that Vietto can score, but he’s definitely cold at the moment, although it’s tough to say given who he was trying to score against and the lack of cohesion in the team trying to help him do it.

  8. I agree with the comments.

    Overall a well anticipated disappointment.

    I felt Correa was the only real positive. He looks a dangerous player. Great driving forward, covers a lot of ground and has a real presence in the team. I was impressed with him. I also feel Yedder looks very promising, he was unlucky last night, but seems to be making the right movement. Diego Gonzalez played well, Mariano too.

    We got into good positions but we were very wasteful. We gave them the 2nd goal and the 3rd should of done better with Messi getting a header in the box.

    I sense we are still a bit down from the RM defeat. the Spanish super cup can be a bit of a hindrance over 2 legs. I hope that we havent wasted too much emotional energy into these games, but on Saturday we will know.

    On Saturday, we need to play Correa, Vitolo, Nzonzi, Kiyotake & Vasquez. I think these guys are big hitters. I would play Yedder up front.

    Lets see if there are any more signings, i think we need a Roque Mesa type player, or someone that hold the midfield together.

  9. My 3-1 prediction was almost correct, but our finishing let us down.

    I’m glad these games are behind us, and I am getting excited about Espanyol on Saturday.


  10. Does anyone have any thoughts on what type of DM we need? ie a destroyer like Krychow? or someone like Didier Zakora?

    I remember Pouslon from the Juande teams of 2006/7. A very deceiving player. It looked as though he didnt do too much, but his game was very clever. He was a tough, hard player. Tactically excellent and could read the game 2 passes ahead of himself. He used to ghost around the midfield and pop-up and snuff out attacks with perfect timing interventions. I wouldnt call him a creative player but He was a master at recycling possession. Basically with short passes around the team to keep the movement and momentum going.

    A great player of the past. Would this type of player be more effective in our new system?

    1. I would say a destroyer type of player is becoming more and more necessary in the modern game

      Who is available though?

    2. A destroyer most definitely. The reason is that it works better with Sampaoli’s system, remember he had 3-4 typical destroyers in the starting lineup with Chile… they just played different positions and improvised (CB, DM, LM, RM etc.)

      I’d agree with Jonathan that there are not much players of that type in the market for the moment. Roque Mesa might be one, and as you’re suggesting Mark, it would’ve been best to sign him… but the president of Las Palmas is complicating the deal… I guess it will never go through.

      We are close to Caio, however, even if he plays at DM, he is not the destroyer type like Krycho… or Mesa for instance. He is playing well for Brazil NT in the olympics as CB, however, maybe it would be better to have him as CB and Carrico as DM… at least Carrico can do the chasing, the pushing, tackles etc. that a true fighter DM is supposed to do. We won’t have him for the matches vs. Espanyol and Villarreal though… a pity!

  11. Sergio Busquets just confirming my concerns. He said in a press conference after last night’s match that it is tremendously hard to play 90 minutes with the system that Sevilla is playing. Ironically it comes from a key player in a side that played similarly (pressuring, possession etc.) for a long time now. But it seems that Busquets hinted about the lack of resources for that system… and he is damn right about that. Also, it’s 50+ matches in a season…. very very concerned about this.

  12. Reportedly Monchi and Samp have prioritized the following reinforcements: CF, DM and GK. Monchi said yesterday that he is not going to actually sign a goalie… rather take someone on a season-long loan while waiting for Soria to fully recover.

    For the DM there are no rumors other than Caio and Mesa (although the latter almost impossible). For the CF spot, there is a strong rumor to loaning (hopefully with a buying option) Mariano Diaz Meija of Real Madrid. He had a very good pre-season according to Eldesmarque and would be a good addition for a third striker.

    As for the GK spot… rumors are linking us with Hart, Diego Alves and Sirigu so far. Out of the three, Diego Alves would be the best choice, but I guess Barca will end up signing him and Paco Alcacer in a package deal. Then out of the two left, Hart would surely be a better option in my opinion. The main reason for that is because Emery didn’t trust Sirigu at PSG… so he is fielding Trapp and Areola as back up. Although both Sirigu and Hart are not quite good with feet, at the end, whoever we end up getting out of the three would still be alright.

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