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Barca aim for six-hit without star Neymar

uefa super cup

Published 11/08/2015

Barcelona's bid to emulate their record-breaking year of 2009 suffered a blow on the eve of their Uefa Super Cup clash against Sevilla with the loss of Neymar to illness.

The Brazil superstar has been struck down with the mumps and Barca say he will be sidelined for the next two weeks.

The 23-year-old will not only miss tonight's clash with Europa League winners Sevilla in Tbilisi, he will also sit out the two-legged Spanish Supercopa against Athletic Bilbao later this month.

If Barca win those two titles then they will be just one step away from matching their incredible success of six years ago when, under Pep Guardiola, they became the first club to win all six major trophies available to them in a calendar year.

Ivan Rakitic, who joined Barca from Sevilla last summer, said: "We want to carry on making history and win the sextet, but we have to take things each step at a time. And the first chance is on Tuesday in Tbilisi."

He added of tonight's clash: "This is not any old game for me. There is a lot of Sevilla in me, but not for this game. As I have always done, I'll be giving everything I have to Barca."

Even without one third of their all-star attacking trio - the others being Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez - Barca will still be favourites to overcome Sevilla and equal AC Milan's record of five wins in the Super Cup.

However, the Andalusian club have no intention of rolling over for the European and Spanish champions in Georgia.

Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro, who scored a late equaliser to help his side to a 2-2 draw at home to Barca last season, said: "We know that Barcelona are a great team, who are very difficult to overcome, but it's also a game you can win. We're going to Georgia to win."

Belfast Telegraph

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