BARCELONA, Aug 12: Barcelona and Sevilla will play their third final in a year when they meet in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in Seville on Sunday.
Sevilla lost the previous two encounters but not without fully testing the more talented Barcelona and their long list of stars including Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
Barcelona needed extra time to prevail in both finals: a 5-4 shootout in the UEFA Super Cup last August and a 2-0 victory to retain the Copa del Rey title in May.
The Spanish Super Cup pits the league champion against the Copa del Rey winner, but since Barcelona won both, Sevilla was invited as the Copa del Rey runner-up.
Sevilla is coming off some fresh heartbreak after once again seeing a trophy slip away after 90 minutes. On Tuesday, it lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in this season's UEFA Super Cup after conceding an equalizer in stoppage time before succumbing in extra time.
That agonizing loss spoiled the debut of coach Jorge Sampaoli, who replaced new Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery.
An expert in knockout competitions, Sevilla did however prevail in a 3-1 comeback win over Liverpool to clinch its third straight Europa League title last May.
Sunday's match at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium will be Barcelona's first competitive match of 2016-2017, following a preseason that included an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Liverpool in a friendly.
"We have our minds focused on Sevilla, a team that has changed its style of play with a new manager and looks very dangerous," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.