Barcelona and Sevilla set for European Super Cup showdown

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Barcelona and Sevilla fly to Tbilisi, Georgia to contest the first silverware of the season, the European Super Cup.

With the treble already in the bank, Barca are seeking to make it four out of four in 2015 whilst their opponents will hope to show that La Liga is more than just the big two.

It promises to be an intoxicating opening to the 2015/16 season and unlike the Spanish derivative, which takes place six days afterwards, this is a winner-takes-all scenario.


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Game on...

No, Ney, never...

Barca have been rocked by the late withdrawal of Neymar from this fixture. Barcelona's official website report that the Brazilian has contracted mumps despite being vaccinated from the disease and as such will miss this game and both Spanish Super Cup games against Athletic Bilbao.

The Catalans were in superb form during the home game against the Andalusians, Messi's hat-trick on the night taking him clear as the all-time top scorer in La Liga.

The link play between the front men on the night was to be admired but by taking Neymar out of the equation, Sevilla will fancy their chances of keeping the Uruguayan and Argentinian quiet.

It does however afford Pedro Rodriguez the opportunity to start the game and potentially get Manchester United to stop dragging their heels and get their hands in their pockets quickly to secure the Canary Islander's signature.

All change

As has become customary at Sevilla, there have been big squad changes across the summer.

Out goes top scorer Carlos Bacca, Aleix Vidal (to Barca) and six more. Not to mention loan signings whose deals have come to an end.

Sporting Director Monchi continues to recruit expertly however and the club will be challenging again this season.

Yevhen Konoplyanka, Michael Krohn-Dehli and Ciro Immobile are excellent signings and once all are fit and Unai Emery has integrated them into his side, we will see the best of the team from the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

The starting XI will therefore be a big change from the last time the two sides met, and this particular game is not really one to experiment and may come too early for the Andalusians as a result.

Terrific ter Stegen

Claudio Bravo contested both league games against Sevilla last season with Marc-Andre ter Stegen showing his worth in the cup competitions.

During pre-season the German has been in superb form, even coming back 11 days early into training to get a head start on Bravo, who was allowed extended leave after his Copa America exertions.

He will play here and another decent performance could give Luis Enrique a headache ahead of the campaign, especially given ter Stegen has already noted his unhappiness at not being utilised on a full time basis.

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