Real Madrid will shift their focus back to La Liga as they host Sevilla at the Santiago Bernebeu on Saturday and look to carry forward their good run of form.
After winning the Spanish Super Cup, Real Madrid will shift their focus back to La Liga where they will face Sevilla at home to maintain the pressure on rivals Barcelona at the top of the table.
Real Madrid are currently second in La Liga below Barcelona only on goal difference and Los Blancos will look to carry their winning run from the Super Cup to the league. Zinedine Zidane was without a lot of first-team players in the Super Cup finals against Atletico Madrid and will be hoping to welcome several squad members ahead of the game as he seeks a victory on Saturday.
Sevilla, on the other hand, have been in decent form lately as they have managed to remain unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions. Julen Lopetegui’s men will come to this fixture on the back of a stellar 5-0 win over Tercera outfit, Escobedo in their Copa del Rey second-round clash. Los Palanganas are currently in the fourth position in the league table and will be a tough nut to crack for Real Madrid.
Ahead of the clash between the two heavyweights on Saturday, we at The Hard Tackle will take a closer look at the two teams.
Tactics and Team News
Zidane was without a few important players in the Super Cup final against Atletico Madrid. But now after returning to Spain, players like Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic are in contention to return to the starting lineup.
However, Federico Valverde will miss out after being sent off in the final for the match-saving tackle on Alvaro Morata. Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio still remain on the sidelines.
Zidane is unlikely to change his preferred 4-3-3 formation, with Thibaut Courtois being his obvious choice between the sticks. In defence, Raphael Varane is likely to partner Eder Militao at the heart of the defence with Sergio Ramos out injured. Marcelo may return to the first-team partnering Dani Carvajal in the full-back spots.
The midfield trio will be tweaked with Luka Modric filling in for Valverde alongside, Casemiro and Toni Kroos. The main concern for Real Madrid and Zidane will be attack, with Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic and Gareth Bale just returning from injury and doubtful to start against Sevilla.
However, Benzema was seen training with the group and may return to the starting lineup leading the lines for Real Madrid against Sevilla. Brazilian youngster Rodrygo Goes and Isco may partner the Frenchman in attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Militao, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Isco
Julen Lopetegui’s biggest miss will be Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos, who is set to miss this fixture through suspension. Ocampos is in great goalscoring form having scored five goals this season and he will be missed by Lopetegui’s men.
Javier Hernandez, who is linked with a move away from Spain, is unlikely to feature against his former club while Ever Banega may shake off his injury concerns and start against Los Blancos.
Sevilla may also opt for a 4-3-3 formation with Tomáš Vaclík returning in goal to replace Bobo. In defence, Jesus Navas and Sergio Reguilón are likely to feature in full-back positions with Diego Carlos and Daniel Carriço playing at the heart of the backline.
In midfield Ever Banega will act as the orchestrator and control the tempo of the game while Fernando and Franco Vazquez will add more stability and creativity to the whole unit. Oliver Torres may replace Ocampos on the left flank while Dutch targetman Luuk de Jong may spearhead the attack for Lopetegui’s men.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Vaclík; Navas, Carriço, Carlos, Reguilón; Vazquez, Fernando, Banega; Munir, de Jong, Torres
- Real Madrid have been very dominant at home against Sevilla as they have won the last 10 La Liga clashes against them at the Santiago Bernebeu having scored 35 goals in that period.
- Sevilla are unbeaten in their last five away matches in the La Liga (W3 D2), their best away run since 2015 under Unai emery where they managed to take the tally to nine.
- Sevilla’s last win at the Santiago Bernebeu was way back in December 2008 when they won 4-3 in a high scoring fixture under the tutelage of Manolo Jimenez.
- Real Madrid have been in good form recently as Los Blancos have now managed a 10 game unbeaten streak in La Liga (W6 D4), their best run in the league in a single season since 2017 where they took the tally to 16 with Zidane at the helm on both occasions.
Player to Watch
The Brazilian midfielder was not at his best in the Super Cup final against city rivals Atletico Madrid and with Federico Valverde’s absence, this match against Sevilla will be a huge challenge for Casemiro. He has had a stellar rise during his time at Real Madrid and currently, he is one of the first names in the teamsheet for Zinedine Zidane.
It is likely to be a midfield battle and the team with more dominance may just edge out with all three points. Therefore Casemiro’s presence just ahead of the backline will allow Kroos to play more freely in advanced positions. But with Modric also partnering him in this trio there will be a lot of pressure on the Brazilian to maintain the balance and recycle possession.
Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla
The Super Cup win has infused lot of confidence in and around the team and now Los Blancos are eager to regain the La Liga title from their rivals Barcelona. Therefore despite the absentees in attack, Real Madrid may just have the edge over Sevilla.
Zidane’s men are way ahead in terms of quality in their first-team and with Lucas Ocampos’ absence Sevilla will be missing that X-factor in their attack. We at the Hard Tackle predict a 2-0 win for the high-flying Los Blancos as they keep up the pressure on FC Barcelona for the top spot in La Liga.