After the ruthless display against Elche the other day, Barcelona would face Sevilla in their clash. The shock against Cadiz was overcome against Elche but at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Sevilla would a hard nut to crack. Julain Lopetegui would not give the Catalans easy time and the Barca coach Ronal Koeman is well aware of it.
A few days after this match, the Blaugrana will host the Andalusians in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie, which Barcelona are trailing 2-0 from the first leg, yet the Dutch coach disagrees with the notion that this is a crucial week for his team.
Like their arch-rivals, Real Madrid Barcelona are also under pressure, but Koeman plays that down.
“I don’t agree. It seems like we’re the only ones playing very important games,” Koeman said during Friday’s pre-match press conference posted in MARCA.
“This weekend the top teams are playing against each other. There is pressure on everyone, not more on us and less on the others.”
“If you are Barcelona coach, there is pressure in every game.”
When asked about the nature of playing Sevilla twice in a matter of days, Koeman was clear to mark the difference.
“They are two different games. Tomorrow is the league and Wednesday is the Copa,” he explained.
“We have to try to win both. We know the result of the first leg of the Copa and tomorrow it’s about continuing the run we’re on in the league.”
“We need to pick up points and put pressure on those at the top.”
Barcelona have included Ronald Araujo in the squad list for the Sevilla match, and the coach is clearly happy with what he’s seen of the Uruguayan defender so far this season.
“Araujo has had a very good season,” Koeman stated.
“He is a young defender; he has learned a lot, he has shown his quality, his physique. It’s important to have strong, fast players.”
“He needs to improve his play on the ball, but he brings a lot to the table.”
“Everyone included on the list has a chance to play. You’ll see tomorrow.”