Real Madrid host Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight as both sides get set to battle it out in matchweek 15 of the La Liga.
Both sides are currently level on points in the La Liga, with 28 points to their name. However, Real Madrid are placed higher due to goal difference. Real have lost only twice this season, while Sevilla have succumbed to defeat on 4 occasions over the course of the current league campaign.
Los Blancos are coming off of a narrow 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek, they have finished second in their group, H. Sevilla are coming off of 1-1 draw against NK Maribor and like their hosts for tonight, have finished second in their Group E.
Team News & Tactics
Zidane has a number of injuries and suspensions to deal with, as he looks to decide his strongest starting XI for this tie. Casemiro, Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos are all suspended, while Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale are injured and won’t be taking part tonight.
Keylor Navas is expected to take in goal, with Achraf Hakimi, Nacho Hernandez and Jesus Vallejo coming into defence at rightback and centerback respectively. Marcelo is the only defender who will be able to retain his place in the squad from their midweek match against Borussia Dortmund.
Luka Modric is expected to be joined by Toni Kroos and Marcos Llorente in midfield, with Isco playing further upfront in a central attacking midfield role. Karim Benzema is expected to come into the squad and join Cristiano Ronaldo upfront.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-1-2): Keylor Navas; Achraf Hakimi, Jesus Vallejo, Nacho Hernandez, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos; Isco; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema
Eduardo Berizzo is expected to be without Nicolas Pareja and Daniel Carrico. Sergio Rico is expected to retain his place in goal and the defence is expected to be the same one that started in their 1-1 draw against NK Maribor a few days ago.
Gabriel Mercado and Sergio Escudero are expected to set up shop at right and left back respectively, with Simon Kjaer and Clement Lenglet in between them at centerback. Ever Banega and Guido Pizarro will likely retain their places in midfield and be joined by Franco Vazquez.
Nolito is expected to come back into the squad ahead of Joaquin Correa on the left wing, with Wissam Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia making up the rest of the front three.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-3): Sergio Rico; Gabriel Mercado, Clement Lenglet, Simon Kjaer, Sergio Escudero; Ever Banega, Franco Vazquez, , Guido Pizarro; Pablo Sarabia, Wissam Ben Yedder, Nolito
- Real Madrid have scored a minimum of 2 goals in their last 10 matches against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- Real Madrid have won 11 of their last 12 matches against Sevilla in all competitions.
- Both Sevilla and Real Madrid are level on points, with 28 in the La Liga this season.
- Sevilla are yet to win a single point against a top four placed side in the La Liga this season.
- Sevilla have lost only 1 of their last 10 games in across all competitions.
Player To Watch
The Portuguese superstar just bagged his fifth Ballon D’or on Thursday, beating the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar to the award. Before that he even found the back of the net against Borussia Dortmund, taking his European tally to 9 in 6 games for the season.
His domestic form however, can only be labelled abysmal considering his standards. 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 La Liga games is clearly not ‘Ballon D’or’ form and it’s something he’ll be desperately be looking to improve on in his first game since winning the award.
Sevilla are one of his favourite victims and in 17 career games against the Andalusians, he has scored an astounding 25 goals. So he has history on his side and he’s certainly not short on incentive.
Real Madrid 2-2 Sevilla
We predict a tense 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight. Both sides will be desperate for a win and a victory could even help them leapfrog Atletico Madrid and move into third place, should Los Rojiblancos drop points against Real Betis tonight.
Real Madrid have a lot more absentees to deal with and may find it difficult to Eduardo Berizzo’s men will be wary of this and will certainly look to capitalise on the champions’ erratic form. However, Real do have enough quality to get a victory themselves, certainly enough to get a draw.