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Real Madrid

Saturday, 2nd May, 2015

Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville

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Sevilla and Real Madrid go head-to-head on Saturday, in what might be the most important game in the league for both the sides.

Sevilla will be hoping to kill Real Madrida s La Liga dream and enhance their chances of qualifying for the Champions League as they face the European champions at home on Saturday. Real Madrid have to win this game in order to remain in the reckoning for the league title. But it will not be easy for a Los Blancosa as Sevilla happens to be the only side unbeaten at home in the league, so far this season. The home side is also unbeaten in the last 10 league games and are competing fiercely with Valencia to secure a fourth place finish. Sevilla are currently level on points with Valencia but are behind on head-to-head and if they wish to finish above Valencia, Sevilla will have to try and win all the remaining four league games.

Team News and Tactics

Sevilla

Unai Emery couldna t have wished for a better time for his team to face Real Madrid. Sevilla are on a 10-match unbeaten run and with Champions League qualification on the cards, the players must be very motivated to continue the streak. Sevilla are level on points with Valencia and they need a victory to keep competing with a Los Chea for the fourth spot. Playing against Real Madrid, the Andalusian side will be aware of the difficulties they have to deal with on Saturday. The key for Sevilla lies in solid defending and taking advantage of the gaps that Real Madrida s highline will leave behind. Sevilla will also have to be alert as they will have to prevent Real from making swift runs against the run of play.

The home side are without Nicolas Pareja, after the defender suffered a knee injury last week which will rule him out for around seven months. Sebastian Cristiforo and Vitolo will also be missing as they are both struggling with injuries. Striker Carlos Bacca, who netted two goals in Sevillaa s victory over Eibar, is sure to start the game upfront.

Probable Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Rico; Coke, Kolodziejczak, Navarro, Tremoulinas; Krychowiak, Mbia; Banega, Aleix Vidal, Reyes; Bacca;
football formations
Real Madrid

The last time Real Madrid faced Sevilla in the league, the Spanish giants faced a very competitive side and lost Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez to injuries in a highly physical encounter. Saturdaya s game promises to be equally, if not more, intense as the previous face-off between the two sides. Real Madrid will hardly be allowed to play their free-flowing football and the Sevilla defence will be on their toes. The defence of the home side will be tough to break for Real Madrid and they will also have to be cautious not leave any gaps at the back. The key for Real Madrid lies in swift counter-attacks and they must be tight in the defence. It will be tough game for Real but they have to break Sevillaa s unbeaten run at home in order to keep fighting for the league.

The biggest news for Ancelotti is that Gareth Bale is back in the squad and available for selection. The winger has healed surprisingly fast and may return to action on Saturday. Luka Modric and Benzema remain unavailable for the game. Iker Casillas will be back between the sticks after resting in the 3-0 win over Almeria. Ramos and Carvajal are back after serving a suspension and will start the game. Isco will return to the starting line-up partnering Kroos and James in the midfield. What remains to be seen is whether, Ramos returns to the line-up as a defender or starts in the midfield.

Probable Line-Up (4-3-3): Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Isco, Kroos, James; Bale, Chicharito, Ronaldo;

Player to watch out for

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Ronaldo: 18 goals in 12 matches against Sevilla.

Ronaldo: 18 goals in 12 matches against Sevilla.

Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score in Real Madrid 3-0 win over Almeria and he was clearly frustrated with that fact. The Portuguesea s reactions made it very visible how much he wants to be on the scoresheet game-in game-out. On Saturday, he faces one of his most favourite opponents in Sevilla. The forward has scored 18 goals in 12 matches against the away side making them arguably his favourite opponents.

Prediction

Sevilla 1-1 Real Madrid

The game is evenly poised as both teams are capable of beating each other. The fact that both teams have enough motivation to grab the three points will make it more even on the pitch. Sevilla are yet to be beaten at home this season and it looks like they will be able to handle Real Madrid and avoid defeat. A draw seems like a highly likely outcome.