Tuesday 11 August 2015

Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena – Tbilisi

This year’s all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup final will take place in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. The trophy will be contested by Barcelona, who beat Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final; and Sevilla, who beat Dnipro to claim the 2015 Europa League crown.

There have been three all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup finals in history and Sevilla have starred in all of them. In the 2006 edition, the Andalucian team beat Barcelona 3-0 with a 23-year-old Dani Alves at right-back. Alves is now on course to equal Paolo Maldini’s record of four victories and five appearances in the annual battle of the European trophy winners.

Last year’s final also featured the back-to back Europa League winners who went down 2-0 to Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid in Cardiff. Unai Emery will be hoping to do better this year but the statistics are not on his side. In fact, the Rojiblancos Coach has never beaten Barcelona during his career on the sidelines, having faced them 19 times with four different clubs. During that time, Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals against his teams.

Sevilla’s last victory against Barcelona came in the 2010 Spanish Super Cup. Since then, they have played them 11 times and drawn just three of those games. With the odds stacked against them, Sevilla can approach this game with a nothing-to-lose attitude and may be able to take advantage of a Barcelona team that has had a fairly gruelling pre-season schedule. While the Catalan club have travelled half way round the world across many different time zones, the club from southern Spain has remained in Europe to prepare for the up-coming campaign.

Even with this factor taken into consideration, it is still hard to imagine Sevilla winning this game unless the Spanish champions have a particularly bad day. Unai Emery’s side are still adjusting to some significant personnel changes while Luis Enrique has a practically unchanged squad to choose from – thanks of course to the current FIFA-imposed transfer embargo.

Betting tips

With Barcelona expected to win, the betting odds are inevitably tight with a best price of around 1/3 available for those looking to back the Blaugrana in the outright winner market. If you are feeling brave and fancy Sevilla to cause an upset, then Betfair will give you odds of 9/1 – which is a pretty good price for a speculative punt.

Finding real value may be difficult but you could achieve a price of evens by backing Sevilla at +1.5 in the Asian Handicap market with Betfair. Alternatively, why not back Barcelona/Over 2.5 goals at 4/6 with the same bookmaker. However, the stand out bet for this fixture is Barcelona/Both Teams to Score which is currently available at 13/8 also courtesy of Betfair.

Top pick: Barcelona/Both Teams to Score @ 13/8 with Betfair.

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