Barcelona hoping to complete second straight domestic league

Barcelona are bidding to complete their second straight domestic league and cup double when they come up against Europa League winners Sevilla on Sunday at Atletico Madrid's Estadio Calderon.

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Barcelona

Barca retained the league title last Saturday, with a 3-0 win at Granada on a hat-trick from the in-form Luis Suarez, and are now keen to retain the cup they won last season against Athletic Bilbao.

BarcelonaBarca almost threw the league title away in a disastrous April, which also saw them eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.

“To win the league and cup, as well as the Club World Cup (won in Japan in December) will mean that it has been a very successful season for us,” Barca coach Luis Enrique said.

“No team in history has ever won every single trophy on offer, but we will be close to doing that it we win Saturday.”

Victory in Madrid would yield Luis Enrique’s seventh major trophy since taking over from the ill-starred Gerardo Martino in 2014.

He has no injury worries now that veteran Javier Mascherano has recovered from the pulled muscle which saw him limp off in Granada.

Barca will go to Madrid much less weary than Sevilla, who clinched a third successive Europa League title with a 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in Basel.

“These moments are unique,” Sevilla coach Unai Emery said.

” We have to enjoy this moment while thinking about the Copa del Rey final on Sunday, but we have to enjoy this moment because the team deserve it.”

Right-back and captain Coke, who scored twice in Basel, said before Wednesday’s final: “This is a very important week for us. It is going to be a difficult and demanding week, but we are all looking forward to it. We are really confident that we can win both finals.”

Sevilla will be without injured veteran wingers Jose Antonio Reyes and Michael Krohn-Dehli, though French striker Kevin Gameiro is in the best form of his promising career.

Sevilla have won the cup five times, the last time in 2010, while Barca have lifted it a record 27 times. Interestingly, it will be the first final between the two.

Sevilla have endured a poor league season, finishing seventh after failing to register a single away win.

They beat Barca 2-1 at home in October but lost by the same score in the Camp Nou in April – and were edged 5-4 by Barca in the UEFA Super Cup in August.

Barca have been absent from the final only once in the last six years.

It will be the 12th and last final to be staged at the Estadio Calderon since Atletico have already sold off the land, by the river Manzanares, to property developers, and are planning to move to the Peineta stadium in Madrid’s eastern suburbs in 2017.

Barca and Sevilla both wanted the final to be staged at Real Madrid’s Estadio Bernabeu – which has a much higher capacity than the Calderon – in order to be able to give tickets to more of their fans.

However, Real refused to offer their stadium, for the fifth time in recent years, out of distaste at the prospect of Barca celebrating another triumph on their hallowed turf – and of the Barca fans jeering the Spanish national anthem before the game, as has happened several times in recent years.

Source: GNA

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