With the new La Liga season days away, Barcelona have a chance to lift their first trophy of the new season as they contest Sevilla in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday. The reigning La Liga champions take a 2-0 lead from the first leg into Wednesday’s clash thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Munir El Haddadi.
But the score line is a little flattering to a Barça side that had trouble breaking down a Sevilla side that dominated in the first half, despite lacking a real penetrating final ball. Barcelona too lacked a cutting edge early on with Luis Suarez having a shot saved.
Barça’s problems were further compounded by the loss of right-back Jeremy Mathieu and midfield dynamo Andres Iniesta to injuries.
Thankfully taking a two goal first-leg lead into the Camp Nou will give Barça boss Luis Enrique a chance to test his depth ahead of Saturday’s La Liga kickoff at home against Real Betis.
With Neymar still away on Olympic duty with Brazil, Munir is likely to get another run-out in the side. Wednesday’s match might also provide Enrique an opportunity to blood some of the team’s summer signings, namely defender Samuel Umtiti and midfielder Andre’ Gomes. Fellow new signing Lucas Digne impressed coming on for the injured Mathieu and will likely get the start Wednesday, and possibly for Saturday’s league opener.
Denis Suarez also put in a good shift coming on for Iniesta and with Iniesta sidelined for a couple weeks, the former Manchester City man may have earned a starting berth for the opening rounds of the season.
Squad depth has been a problem for Barcelona over the past couple of seasons with the Catalan side still playing catch-up after an 18-month transfer banned that expired in January of this year. So while the injuries to Mathieu and Iniesta are far from ideal, they do present a good opportunity for Enrique to bring some fringe players into the fold in the early going of the new campaign before Barça’s first big match against Atletico Madrid at the end of September.
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