May 22, 2016 at 8.30pm UK at ​Vicente Calderon
Alba (97'), Neymar (122')
Alba (87'), Neymar (89'), Iniesta (90'), Alves (90')
Mascherano (36')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rami (73'), Vitolo (75'), Krychowiak (93'), Iborra (95'), Konoplyanka (102'), Escudero (104'), Gameiro (114')
Banega (92'), Carrico (121')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Sevilla

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon.

Barcelona will look to complete a domestic double when they face Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey final on Sunday night.

No team has won the Copa del Rey on more occasions than Spanish champions Barcelona (27), but Sevilla will enter the match full of confidence having won their third straight Europa League title on Wednesday night.


Luis Suarez celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Espanyol on May 8, 2016© AFP

After losing to Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season, Barcelona passed up the chance to make it back-to-back trebles and cement their spot as possibly the finest team to ever play the professional game.

Their European elimination has led to criticism, but the Catalan giants wrapped up another La Liga title last weekend and will be looking to secure a 28th Copa del Rey title when they travel to the Vicente Calderon this weekend.

There is no comparing these two teams in this competition, but in fairness to Sevilla, no side can compete with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. The Catalan outfit have won this competition on 27 occasions and are the holders having overcome Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in last season's final. They also made the final in 2014, but lost to Real Madrid on that occasion.

Barcelona, who have been present in six of the last eight Copa del Rey finals, had a very difficult April - losing three successive league matches and bowing out to Atletico in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

They won each of their last five games of the La Liga season, however, scoring 24 times and conceding zero in the process. They should have had the league title sewn up with weeks to spare, but Real Madrid ran them very close, ultimately finishing just one point behind.

Luis Enrique's side actually drew their opening Copa del Rey game of the season at lowly Villanovense, but won the second leg 6-1 at Camp Nou to advance into the next round. Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao were then dispatched, before Valencia lost 8-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Barcelona's spot in the final was secured on February 10 and they will look to finish the job in Madrid.

Luis Suarez has arguably been the best player in Europe this season and will enter this match having scored 59 times in 52 appearances – including five in three appearances in the Copa del Rey. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, has had his injury problems, but has still managed 41 in 48 appearances.

Neymar was out-shining Suarez and Messi in the first half of the campaign, but it would be fair to say that the Brazilian's level has dropped in recent months. A new contract will seemingly soon be signed, however, and the Brazil captain has registered 30 goals in 48 appearances for the Spanish club this season. All three will be on show this weekend as Barcelona attempt to end the season in style.

Recent form: WWWWWD
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWWW


Kevin Gameiro celebrates scoring during the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla on May 18, 2016© Getty Images

As mentioned, Unai Emery's Sevilla will enter the final off the back of a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Europa League final on Wednesday night. Daniel Sturridge sent the English club into a 35th-minute lead in Switzerland, but Kevin Gameiro equalised 17 seconds into the second period, before the skipper Coke struck twice for the Spanish outfit.

It was Sevilla's third Europa League crown in succession and their fifth in total, and they will now advance straight into the group stages of next season's Champions League. While the players will still be on a high, Barcelona have had a free week to prepare for this match and tiredness may well be a factor in Madrid.

Like Barcelona, Sevilla now have a major trophy to their name this season, but they only managed a seventh-place finish in La Liga. On the face of it, seventh is far from disastrous, but they lost 14 of their 38 league games and were 12 points off the Champions League positions, which will be seen as a major disappointment for a team of their ilk.

Incredibly, Sevilla actually lost seven of their last nine in the league and their only victory during that run was against rivals Real Betis on April 24. They lost to Espanyol and Granada at the start of the month, before going down 3-1 at Athletic Bilbao on the final weekend of the season. It was a very strange end to the campaign for a team that is packed with talent.

Sevilla made light work of Logrones in the early rounds of the competition – winning 5-0 on aggregate to set up a clash with Seville rivals Real Betis. Much was made of the rivalry, but it proved to be very comfortable for Sevilla, who scored six times without reply over the two legs.

Next came Mirandes in what was a favourable quarter-final draw for Emery's side and once again it was comfortable as a 2-0 win in Seville was followed by a 3-0 success away from home. Celta Vigo were waiting in the semi-finals and were full of confidence after dumping Atletico out of the competition in the previous round, but Sevilla won 6-2 on aggregate to make the final.

Barcelona might be the holders and indeed dominant force in the Copa del Rey, but Sevilla have also won the competition on five occasions - the last of which came in 2010, when they beat Atletico 2-0 at Camp Nou. In fact, Sevilla have not actually lost a Copa del Rey final since 1962, when they were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Emery is hot property due to his work at Sevilla and his players will be on cloud nine after their European exploits on Wednesday night. Barcelona will be intent on putting on a strong performance, however, and the Red and Whites will need to ensure that their batteries are recharged for the 114th edition of the King's Cup.

Recent form: WWWWWD
Recent form (all competitions): DLWLLW

Team News

Three-headed Broadway star Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi celebrate scoring during the Copa del Rey game between Barcelona and Valencia on February 3, 2016© AFP

Barcelona have been without the services of injured goalkeeper Claudio Bravo for the last two matches, but even if the Chilean is passed fit, cup stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start between the sticks.

Enrique has no fresh injury concerns from the 3-0 win over Granada next weekend, leaving Neymar, Messi and Suarez in the final third and a midfield three of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.

Sevilla, meanwhile, will be without the services of suspended midfielder Steven N'Zonzi. Michael Krohn-Dehli will also miss out with a fractured kneecap and Benoit Tremoulinas with knee ligament damage.

Experienced French centre-back Adil Rami, however, has insisted that he will be fit for the final despite suffering a knock against Liverpool in the Europa League final.

Emery is not expected to make too many changes to his XI from the Liverpool clash, leaving Gameiro, who has scored 25 times in all competitions this season, to lead the line ahead of Fernando Llorente. Sergio Rico, however, will return between the sticks to take the place of European goalkeeper David Soria.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Suarez, Messi

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Rico; Mariano, Rami, Carrico, Escudero; Krychowiak, Iborra; Vitolo, Banega, Coke; Gameiro

Head To Head

As winners of last season's Champions League and Europa League respectively, Barcelona and Sevilla met in the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the campaign. An incredible match saw the two teams play out a 4-4 draw in normal time, but Barcelona scored a fifth through Pedro in stoppage time to win the clash in Georgia.

Sevilla recorded a 2-1 victory when they welcomed Barcelona to Seville in the league last October and that match was actually the start of a 39-game unbeaten run for the Catalan giants. Their last meeting came at Camp Nou in February, with the home side running out 2-1 winners.

Despite Sevilla boasting a respectable record against Barcelona this season, history suggests that it will be very tough for Emery's side this weekend. Indeed, Barcelona have won nine of their last 14 meetings in all competitions and only lost once. In fact, Sevilla have only beaten the Catalan giants once since the Spanish Super Cup in August 2010.

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We say: Barcelona 3-1 Sevilla

Barcelona will rightly start the match as favourites and although Sevilla will be full of confidence following their European success, tiredness might well be an issue, especially against a team that dominate possession. Sevilla will cause Barcelona plenty of problems, but we are backing Enrique's side to claim the trophy once again and make it a domestic double for the season.

Who will win the 2016 Copa del Rey final?

Unai Emery during the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla on May 18, 2016
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