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La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Sevilla

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La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Sevilla
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La Liga Preview: Barcelona - Sevilla

Barcelona will look to protect a six-year unbeaten league run over Sevilla when the Blaugrana play host at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Gerardo Martino's side sits atop La Liga after the opening three games of the season, having collected nine points and conceded just two goals. Martino will be looking to improve that statistic even further by extending an unbeaten league record against Sevilla to 13 games.

The last time that Los Rojiblancos beat the champions in La Liga action was back in 2007 - when Alexander Kerzhakov and Dani Alves gave them a 2-1 triumph.

Sevilla coach Unai Emery has seen his side struggle so far this term after losing key players such as Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Geoffrey Kondogbia before the transfer deadline, with the club yet to record a win in the league.

Two draws, against Levante and Malaga, have at least put points on the board, although Catalunya is not a happy hunting ground for Sevilla, with the club's winless league run against Barca at Camp Nou extending further back to 2002.

Sevilla knows it faces a huge challenge to keep Lionel Messi, Neymar and the rest of Barcelona's star-studded team quiet on Saturday, although winger Jairo is confident the club has a plan to thwart its hosts.

"Camp Nou is one of the most difficult places in the league to go to," Jairo said. "But we’re looking forward to the game and want to get something positive.

"Possession is not something we’re going to enjoy so, we have to be well-disciplined and try to hurt them on the counter. They definitely have a weakness there. We’ll have to be strong in midfield and try to close down their space."

Barca is currently on a 15-game unbeaten run in the league that stretches back to its 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in March.

Barcelona heads into the game boosted by the news that captain Carles Puyol is nearing a comeback following his knee injury, while Alves and Sergio Busquets trained with the squad following the international break after recent injury problems.

Sevilla loan signing Marko Marin is expected to start for Emery's side, with Piotr Trochowski also in contention following 11 months out with a knee injury.

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