La Liga: Real seek Sevilla scalp, Barcelona battle Villarreal

Lee Gormley | November 7, 2015

Barcelona v Villarreal

  • La Liga
  • Sunday, November 8th
  • Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
  • Nou Camp, Barcelona
  • Live on Sky Sports 3

Barca out to sink Yellow Submarine

Only goal-difference separates La Liga’s two El Clasico giants at the moment, but Luis Enrique’s Barcelona will look to overcome next opponents Villarreal and put pressure on leaders Real Madrid, as they seek a fourth consecutive domestic victory in this Nou Camp clash.

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Having been hit with the untimely blow of losing Lionel Messi through ligament damage to his left knee, the Catalan giants have been fighting on without their Argentine ace, and have not lost since their 2-1 defeat to Sevilla on October 3rd.

The hosts have sunk the Yellow Submarine in their last six meetings in all competitions, including four times last season, and have not been overcome by their Spanish rivals since 2008, making Barcelona 9/5 with Coral to secure three points with both teams scoring.

Neymar and Suarez on fire

Since losing their first game without the injured Messi to Sevilla, Barca have rampantly recovered and look anything but a team without their star man. This is mainly due to the ferocious form of South American attacking duo Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Soccer - La Liga - FC Barcelona v Eibar - Camp Nou Stadium

The prolific pair have dispatched 17 goals between them so far this campaign, with Brazilian superstar Neymar 14/5 to open proceedings this time out, after being praised by Spanish teammate Andres Iniesta, and Suarez is 2/1 for a brace or more.

“He’s [Neymar] a spectacular talent in every sense,” stated Iniesta. “Neymar is still very young and he has come to a team where he can develop a lot.

“Let’s hope his progress continues because we want him to stay here for a lot more years.”

Nou Camp stars missing

As the Spanish top-flight title race heats up, Enrique will not only be without Messi for his side’s latest domestic challenge, but stalwart defender Javier Mascherano too, as he misses out through suspension.

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The Argentina midfielder-converted-centre back was red carded against Eibar and must sit out the Yellow Submarine’s visit, while playmaker Ivan Rakitic is out with a calf injury, adding to Catalan woes for their Villarreal liaison.

Villarreal vying for victory

Marcelino Garcia Toral’s visitors will take hope from the Barca absentees, but will have to overturn recent stuttering form in order to prevail in an intimidating Nou Camp.

Villarreal have climbed to fifth position in La Liga, despite just one win in four recent domestic outings, and they haven’t enjoyed their travels this term either, winning just twice on the road in La Liga so far.

Although, with the likes of former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado (4/1 to score anytime), Cedric Bakambu (also 4/1) and Denis Suarez (11/2 anytime) all enjoying encouraging form, the Yellow Submarine are 9/1 to cause an upset in daunting surroundings.

Sevilla v Real Madrid

  • La Liga
  • Sunday, November 8th
  • Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
  • Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
  • Live on Sky Sports 3

Leaders Real target Sevilla triumph

Going into their encounter with Sevilla, Rafael Benitez’s Real Madrid sit at La Liga’s summit with a superior goal-difference and will look to extend their impressive unbeaten domestic run, with Los Blancos having won the last three meetings with the Bathtubs.

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With three successive victories over the hosts, Real will be confident of maintaining their untoppled streak and are 16/5 to win to nil on their travels, while Unai Emery’s Sevilla are 14/5 to spoil Benitez’s flawless domestic start.

Real attacking threat

Cristiano Ronaldo has been busy promoting the launch of his new movie recently, but will be fully focused on continuing his rampant run so far this season. The Portuguese menace is 3/1 to dispatch a double or more, having scored more goals against Sevilla (21) than any other team in his career to date.

Benitez could also be boosted by the return of Welsh wizard Gareth Bale, who has been suffering from a calf problem and was recently left out of his national team’s squad for upcoming friendlies. The returning marksman is 2/1 to strike anytime on his potential comeback to competitive action.

Soccer - La Liga - Real Madrid v Real Betis - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Meanwhile, Kevin Gameiro will look to maintain his impressive form against the Galacticos this term and is 7/1 to open proceedings on home turf, while towering Basque frontman Fernando Llorente is 11/5 to slot home anytime.

Casilla confident of result

Real stopper Kiko Casilla is hoping his side can keep up their recent form and inflict further domestic misery on Sevilla this time out, but knows a trip to Seville is never easy.

“The next game against Sevilla will be really difficult, but we know that we must give everything to maintain this run of results,” stated the Madrid goalkeeper.

“Real Madrid is the best side in the world. We know that we always have to win and that motivates us to be at our top level.”

The visitors are 13/5 to keep a clean sheet in this latest La Liga liaison, as they aim to retain top spot for another weekend, ahead of close El Clasico rivals Barcelona.


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Coral’s top tip: Neymar has been in fine form in the absence of Lionel Messi, so back him at 14/5 to open the scoring against Villarreal.