Real Madrid will be hosted by a struggling Sevilla side on Wednesday at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, in matchday thirty six of the La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane’s men are currently third on the table, with 72 points to their name. They are a point behind Atletico Madrid, who have played a game more. Having already lost their title to Barcelona and Champions League participation assured for next season, Los Blancos are only playing for pride at this point.
Sevilla on the other hand, have a lot more to play for. Going into this match, Joaquin Caparros’s men are 8th on the table with 51 points to their name. They are currently one point away from the final Europa League qualifying spot, which is occupied by Getafe.
Victory would ensure that they leapfrog the Azulones into 7th place, which is exactly why Real Madrid shouldn’t expect to have an easy outing on Wednesday. In his pre-match press conference, Zidane insisted that his side would have to start the game very well and be at their best right from the get go.
“It’s important to start the game well because Sevilla will pile the pressure on and we will have to play as best we can from the start. Caparrós often puts out a team that puts the pressure on and plays with high intensity. I saw the game against Real Sociedad and they took them to the limit. It will be a great game.”
According to a report on their official site, Dani Carvajal and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to be sidelined due to injury, while Gareth Bale has been suspended and is currently on leave for personal reasons. Isco has returned to training and will be available for selection. Zidane provided an update on each of the players as well.
“Isco trained as normal and we’ll see what happens there. Carvajal needs a little more time but he trained alone today and he is doing well physically. They will all feature in the Champions League final. I am 150% sure about that.”
“He [Ronaldo] got injured but is doing well, walking as normal. It is great that he can walk already and that shows his drive and ambition to get back and play every game. It would be perfect to have him back for the Villarreal game. it is a knock, but he didn’t damage his fibula. His ankle is ok.”
Zidane’s men are expected to revert back to their 4-4-2 formation, with a number of changes being made to the attack. Keylor Navas is expected to start in goal, with Achraf Hakimi replacing Nacho Fernandez in the starting XI at right-back.
Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo are all expected to retain their places in defence. Luka Modric and Casemiro are likely to start in the centre of midfield, with Toni Kroos dropping to the bench. Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio are almost certain to start this match on the wings.
Karim Benzema should start once again and he is expected to be joined by young striker Borja Mayoral. The 21-year-old has made only 22 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring 6 goals and providing 2 assists and should he start tonight, it will be only his fourth league start this term.