Real Madrid travel to the Andalusian capital on Wednesday to face Sevilla in matchday thirty six of the La Liga.
Going into this clash, Real Madrid are currently third on the table, with 72 points to their name. Their failure to beat a 10-man Barcelona last week means that they are now 3 points behind cross town rivals Atletico Madrid, with a game in hand.
Sevilla on the other hand, have fallen to eighth on the table and with 51 points to their name, are just a point away from the Europa League qualification spot, currently occupied by Getafe, who have played a game more. Given their abysmal goal difference, only a victory will help them overtake the Azulones tonight.
In their first meeting this season, Sevilla were thrashed 5-0 at the Bernabeu in a first half blitz that started in the 3rd minute and culminated in the 42nd. Nacho Fernandez, Toni Kroos, Achraf Hakimi and a Cristiano Ronaldo brace ensured that the Andalusians would leave the capital empty handed.
Team News and Tactics
Joaquín Caparrós is only expected to miss out on the services of Jesus Navas. Sebastien Corchia is back and in contention to start tonight, as is Simon Kjaer, Ever Banega and Sergio Rico. Los Nervionenses are expected to start in a 4-2-3-1 formation tonight.
David Soria is expected to retain his place in goal, with Clement Lenglet, Gabriel Mercado and Sergio Escudero all retaining their places in defence. Sebastien Corchia is expected to make his first start after returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Up ahead in midfield, Johannes Geis and Steven N’Zonzi are expected to make up the double pivot, with Ever Banega playing as central attacking midfielder. Nolito and Joaquin Correa are expected to start on the left and right flanks respectively, with Wissam Ben Yedder leading the line for the them.
Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): David Soria; Sebastien Corchia, Clement Lenglet, Gabriel Mercado, Sergio Escudero; Steven N’zonzi, Johannes Geis; Joaquin Correa, Ever Banega, Nolito; Wissam Ben Yedder
Zinedine Zidane will not be able to call upon the services of Dani Carvajal (injured), Cristiano Ronaldo (injured) and Gareth Bale, who will be serving a suspension. Some changes will undoubtedly be made to the squad that started in last week’s 2-2 draw against Barcelona.
Zidane is expected to field a 4-4-2 formation for this tie. Keylor Navas is expected to start in goal, with Achraf Hakimi coming in at right back. Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos are likely to retain their places at centerback, with Marcelo on the left flank.
Toni Kroos is expected to be rested for this clash and Luka Modric and Casemiro are expected to set up shop in central midfield. Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez are expected to come into the starting XI on the left and right wings respectively, while Borja Mayoral is expected to make rare start tonight and team up with Karim Benzema upfront.
Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Keylor Navas; Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Lucas Vazquez, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio; Borja Mayoral, Karim Benzema
- Sevilla have lost only 3 home games in the La Liga this season.
- Real Madrid have failed to win 7 of their 17 La Liga away games this season.
- In 159 meetings, Sevilla have won 46, Real Madrid have won 85 and 28 were drawn.
- In 73 League matches at home, Sevilla have won 35, Real Madrid have won 23 and 15 were drawn.
- Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is this fixtures top scorer, with 27 goals in 18 games against the Andalusians.
Player To Watch
Real Madrid: Marco Asensio
Came on for an injured Cristiano Ronaldo against Barcelona and set up Gareth Bale’s 72nd minute equalizer. The Spaniard is almost certain to start tonight on the left wing tonight given the big absentees and will be desperate to make an impact tonight.
It has been a difficult season for the 22-year-old and a good performance here and in the remaining two games of the season could earn him a place in the starting XI in the Champions League final and it should be interesting to see whether he can give Zinedine Zidane something to think about.
Sevilla 1-2 Real Madrid
Sevilla’s caretaker boss Joaquín Caparrós is still trying to figure out his best XI and the formation that best suits them. They haven’t been in the best form off late, but they still have a chance of making it into the Europa League spots and will be desperate to secure a spot in the top 7.
They will also be looking to avenge the 5-0 humiliation they suffered at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier in the season and will certainly fancy their chances against this Real Madrid side in front of their home fans. Despite missing out on a number of key players, Real Madrid are still expected to come away from this clash with all three points.
Los Blancos have only pride left to play for this season as a top four spot is assured, but every game is an audition for the Champions League final in 18 days’ times, and the players that get a chance tonight will certainly want to make the most of it. Sheer quality and current form is expected to triumph over desire when these sides meet at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium tonight.