Michael Lintorn suspects that a straightforward punting plan will spell profit as Barcelona meet Sevilla in Tbilisi...
"There hasn’t been a single clean sheet kept in six meetings between Barcelona and Sevilla, with the scorelines split between two 3-2s, a 5-1, a 4-1, a 2-2 and a 2-1."
Barcelona 1.384/11 v Sevilla 9.417/2; The Draw 5.85/1
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The treble winners followed their previous two Champions League triumphs by scooping the UEFA Super Cup, yet this time they won't be able to call on any new players due to their transfer ban.
However, by signing Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal ready for January, they have weakened the opposition, as the latter played a key part in Sevilla's 2014/15 glory, most notably scoring their first two goals in the Europa League semi-final first-leg victory over Fiorentina.
Unfortunately, they will have to make do without Neymar in Tbilisi though as the Brazilian superstar has been ruled out for a fortnight.
The Rojiblancos' squad wasn't savaged as much as many feared after retaining the Europa League. Vidal left for Barcelona and Carlos Bacca joined AC Milan, but impressive coach Unai Emery opted to extend his contract and the likes of Grzegorz Krychowiak and Ever Banega have stuck around too.
Having enjoyed rebuilding careers like Stephane Mbia's, they made that a focus of their transfer campaign, recruiting the likes of Adil Rami, Gael Kakuta and Ciro Immobile. Their most expensive addition was Stoke midfielder Steven N'Zonzi.
Sevilla won their first ever UEFA Super Cup against Barcelona in 2006, but have been beaten in 90 minutes by AC Milan (2007) and Real Madrid (2014) since.
Neither of our protagonists were particularly convincing in pre-season. Barcelona lost International Champions Cup showdowns with Manchester United, Chelsea (on penalties) and Fiorentina, while Sevilla were held by Alcorcon and AEK Athens and defeated by Werder Bremen and Brighton.
Luis Enrique's men have largely been immune to the Sevilla revival, winning six of their last seven clashes, but the Andalusians stalled their momentum in the fixture in April by rallying from 2-0 down at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan for a 2-2 draw, their first point against the champions since 2011.
Both Teams to Score
These sides earned their tickets to the UEFA Super Cup with absorbing cup final successes, with Barcelona conquering Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League and Sevilla overcoming Dnipro 3-2 in the Europa League, and their head-to-head results point to further entertainment in Georgia.
There hasn't been a single clean sheet kept in six meetings between the pair, with the scorelines split between two 3-2s, a 5-1, a 4-1, a 2-2 and a 2-1. Both clubs had struck by the 47th minute in the most recent three encounters.
A Lionel Messi first goalscorer tip wins no marks for originality, yet keeping things simple is often the most profitable approach.
The Argentine genius has netted in five straight appearances against Sevilla - notching eight times in total in those outings - and broke the deadlock in both 2014/15 collisions, waiting no longer than the 21st minute to do so.
He also fired first in Barcelona's previous UEFA Super Cup participation against Porto in 2011.
Back both teams to score @ 1.768/11
Back Lionel Messi to be first goalscorer @ 4.03/1
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