Sevilla boss Unai Emery believes the current iteration of Barcelona “comes closest” to Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side between 2008 and 2011.
La Blaugrana have struggled to reach their heights under the former midfielder in the last three years, but their forthcoming adversary claims the team assembled by Luis Enrique bears many similarities with his predecessor’s.
“This Barcelona comes closest to [Pep] Guardiola’s, so I want to see a great performance from Sevilla,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
"Luis Enrique’s doing a great job. He’s worked hard on many aspects of Barca’s game and has built his team around [Lionel] Messi and Luis Suarez.
“They’ve been integrated into the squad and aren’t outside the team’s dynamics. Now’s a great time for Barcelona.”
Emery has yet to pick up a win against Barca in his managerial career, but he remains determined in his quest to banish his Catalan demons.
“From the first time I faced Barca, I’ve seen every game against them as an opportunity,” he added.
“The challenge of beating them is something which attracts me, excites me and makes me dream, but I want to win every game, regardless of whoever are the opposition.
“My ultimate dream is for Sevilla to win [against Barca] and have a very good game.
“I want to see a Sevilla who are lively, energetic and positive and give answers. In order to win, we must create chances.
“[Ivan Rakitic] was here a few days ago. He’s almost an ambassador for Sevilla because of how he performed here, his family and the fact he loves Sevilla.
“It’s very important for a player who comes from abroad to have fed the Sevilla fans in the manner he did.
“[On Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu’s loans from Barca]. I’m very happy with both of them.
“They’re progressing, growing and I have faith in their ability. This step will be important to their development.
“In three or four years’ time, they’ll be playing a far greater role than the one they have at present.”