Soccer Picks: Barcelona vs. Sevilla

Steven Suarez

Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:27 PM GMT

The Catalans were just given a rude awakening in the Champions League, but will try to get back on track this weekend with a home game against Sevilla in La Liga action.


Barcelona vs. Sevilla

Odds Overview

Like most everyone else, oddsmakers believe Barcelona will bounce back. They're favored to the tune of 5/1 at home to take care of business.

That leaves Sevilla as the huge underdog at a crazy high price of 11/1. A draw is also considered unlikely, as it can be found at 13/2 on the soccer odds board.

Barcelona

In a showdown between two of the biggest clubs in the world, Barcelona fell short against AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

The Italians were excellent defensively, completely shutting down Messi and company, leading to a 2-0 win at home and a fantastic advantage heading into the second leg. Goals were scored by Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

That said, one quick glance at Barcelona's La Liga form this season and you would certainly expect a better showing this weekend.

The Catalans have lost just once in 24 fixtures, while going undefeated at home. They've won 10 out of 11 matches at the Nou Camp, while scoring 40 goals and allowing just nine.

Milan proved it's possible to stifle Barcelona's possession-based tactics and Messi had a hard time finding his usual room to operate. There's little chance Sevilla will be able to do the same, considering they've allowed 22 goals in 12 away La Liga matches this term. We think the Argentinean will be back to his master-class form this weekend.

Sevilla

It hasn't been the most successful of seasons for Sevilla. They currently reside in the tenth spot in Spain's top flight.

The Sevillistas were however able to get a 3-1 home win over Deportivo their last time on the pitch. Ivan Rakitic scored a goal in the fifth minute to give the hosts a dream start, with Gary Medel adding a brace in the first half. Obviously they'll have to be even better though to have any chance of even getting a point against the Catalan giants.

One advantage playing into Sevilla's favor this weekend is that they'll have had much more time to prepare. They've been off for over a week now, while Barcelona had to engage themselves in a fast-paced encounter with Milan during the week.

Still, the Sevillistas are no Milan, and they've really had a difficult time getting good results away from home. They haven't outright won a match outside of Sevilla since September 24 against Deportivo, which is not a good omen against a Barcelona outfit that will be even more motivated to put on a good show.

If Sevilla is to make Barcelona nervous, they'll need an extra special performance out of Alvaro Negredo, who leads the team with 10 goals. He's been the only consistent goalscorer for the team this season and will have to make the most of his limited chances on Saturday. Jesus Navas could also have an impact here.

[gameodds]17/221495/169-43-349-93/us[/gameodds]

La Liga Pick

Barca has already beaten Sevilla once this season, taking home a 3-2 win inside Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

It wasn't easy though. Down 2-0, the Catalans needed a brace from Cesc Fabregas and a stoppage-time goal from David Villa to get the victory.

Back at the Nou Camp, we expect a more comfortable result for Barcelona, especially since they'll be wanting to redeem themselves after getting outclassed by Milan. Look for Messi to get on the score-sheet at least once as Barca strolls to the three points against a Sevilla side that's struggled to find their best foot away from home.

Free Soccer Picks: Take Barcelona 3 to Sevilla 0 for your soccer picks.

See more Liga predictions with our look at Atletico Madrid and Espanyol~