Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Sevilla FC will visit the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend with the hope of doing a double over Real Madrid. The next few days will define Madrid’s season and come next weekend the world will know whether the team has what it takes to showcase itself as a genuine force to be reckoned with, both in La Liga and in the Champion’s League.
With a win in this fixture, not only can the Los Merengues go top of the league if Barcelona manages to lose away at Almeria, but also take revenge for the loss they suffered at the start of the season in Seville.
Current Position: 4th, 43 points
Current Form: DDWWLL
The team has been extremely unpredictable in this calendar year. While they suffered back to back loses against Atletico and Barcalona and later to Zaragoza, they have had inspirational wins away at Mallorca and against Valencia.
Sevilla has even progressed to the Copa final at the cost of Barcelona, Deportivo and Getafe and will play Atletico for the cup. Their UCL hopes are still intact as they will face CSKA in the second leg of the round of 16 at home.
Against Madrid, they will have to depend on Navas and Negredo in the absence of Luis Fabiano and Renato who are both ruled out due to injury.
Current Position: 2nd, 59 points
Current Form: WWLWWW
With Barcelona looking a little shaky, it is pivotal for Real Madrid to maintain the pressure. The team has slowly started to find its roots.Ronaldo is in good form, Kaka is improving and if the Brazilian is able to link-up well with Higuain and CR9, Madrid will most definitely score goals. It will boil down to how much the defense is willing to support Iker ‘The Saint’ Casillias.
The Bernabeu has become a fortress this season with Madrid winning all its 12 matches played there but very soon first Sevilla and then Lyon will put its reputation to test. For the next one week at least, nobody wants to be in the shoes of Pellegrini, who faces a tough task of playing a strong side in La Liga and then ensuring that his superstars are fresh enough to end Lyon’s European campaign.
Benzema, Drenthe and Pepe are ruled out of this fixture while Arbeloa makes his return after serving his suspension.
Sevilla FC 2-1 Real
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan – October 4, 2009
Real Madrid sans Cristiano Ronaldo lost to Sevilla in a pulsating match that saw Jesus Navas score a Ronaldo-esque header and Renato ensuring Real lost their first game of the season. Between the two strikes, Pepe’s goal and Iker Casillas’s saves had kept Madrid in the game.
Real Madrid 3 – 1 Sevilla FC
Real Madrid will continue to pressurise Barcelona as they will be too much for Sevilla to handle. THT predicts an open game with quite a few goals and goalmouth action.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
The world’s costliest player was out of action when Real lost at Sevilla, so he will be yearning to show them what difference can he make. Whether it be sending offs or cracking goals, Ronaldo will be the man to watch as he is the man who makes things happen on a football field.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST
Real Madrid 3 – 4 Sevilla FC
Santiago Bernabeu – December 7, 2008
Sevilla came away with the spoils in a seven goal thriller at the Bernabeu when Renato headed in a late winner. Madrid had staged a wonderful second-half comeback to draw level at 3-3 after trailing 3-1 at half time. The turning point came when Arjen Robben was sent off.