Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) is congratulated by team mate Chrisitian Tello after scoring a goal against Spartak Moscow during their Champions League Group G soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, September 19, 2012.
(Photo : REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Manager Tito Vilanova's start at Barcelona could not have gotten off to a better start. In five matches, the squad has found a way to win each time even if not playing at their best.
But the next two weeks may be the most difficult competition the team has faced thus far as they take on an impressive Sevilla FC before heading into a Clasico showdown with arch rvial Real Madrid.
Despite the top record in La Liga Barcelona's play of late has been questionable. A 2-0 win over lowly Granada was not even secure until an 87th minute strike from Xavi gave them a 1-0 lead. The squad looked lost for answers in a 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow in Barcelona's first Champions League match. Lionel Messi has been the constant source of light for the team but even he created some negative buzz for the team after a shouting match with fellow striker David Villa last week against Granada. Barcelona needs to not only win this match, but put up a convincing effort lest they want to go into a Clasico playing poorly.
Sevilla has been relatively good thus far with 11 points in five matches and no losses thus far. Their most impressive exploit thus far was a 1-0 win over Real Madrid a few weeks ago. This is a team that has a strong defensive minded approach and a potent counterattack, Barcelona's weakness.
Prediction: This will be an interesting match because if Barcelona plays as poorly as last week, it is possible for Sevilla to win this one. Expect a 2-1 win for Barcelona however.