Barça: Valverde loses faith in Kevin-Prince Boateng
The well-travelled striker was signed to provide cover for Luis Suárez but has played just twice for the club and has been left out for the trip to Sevilla.
Kevin-Prince Boateng’s role at Barcelona – to provide cover and an occasional rest for Luis Suárez – already looks to be something of a false dawn for the Uruguay striker after the on-loan Sassuolo forward was left out of Ernesto Valverde’s squad for the trip to Sevilla, the second consecutive time Boateng has failed to even make the bench for Barcelona.
Boateng was left out for the Champions League match against Lyon in midweek and has again been omitted as Barcelona prepare for a challenging run of games that includes the return against the Ligue 1 side and a Clásico Liga and Copa double header against Real Madrid.
Since his arrival on loan in January, Boateng has made only two appearances for Barça, in the 2-0 Copa defeat away at the Sánchez Pizjuán and in the unconvincing 1-0 victory over Valladolid at Camp Nou, where he lasted an hour before Suárez was thrown on to add some impetus to the attack.
Valverde clearly has the Copa reverse in mind – although Barça won the second leg at Camp Nou 6-1 – and has named a strong squad for the Liga visit to Sevilla, with Suárez included alongside Leo Messi, Ousmane Dembélé and Philippe Coutinho in the forward positions.
Arthur, Thomas Vermaelen and Jasper Cillessen are all out injured and Valverde has named a squad of just 18 players for the journey south, with youth keeper Iñaki Peña on the bench for the absent Netherlands international.
Barça squad for Sevilla
Keepers: Ter Stegen, Iñaki Peña,
Defenders: Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Murillo, Alba, Umtiti.
Midfielders: Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Aleñá, Malcom, Sergi Roberto.
Forwards: Coutinho, Dembélé, Messi, Suárez