Sevilla will take on league leaders Real Madrid in La Liga at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on 18th April.
Up until the end of January, Sevilla were within touching distance of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and there was only a five-point gap between the two sides. However, a run of four consecutive matches without a win has not only ended their title aspirations for good measure but Sevilla are now engaged in a tussle for the top four spots in the league.
The side from Seville posted an impressive, last-gasp 4-2 win over Granada last weekend. Both Rafa Mir and Papu Gomez scored in stoppage time after coming off the bench in a tight contest that was 2-2 with two minutes remaining on the clock. Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos had earlier found the back of the net for the hosts before Darwin Machis and Victor Diaz Miguel restored parity in the contest momentarily.
Three points from that game as well as Atletico Madrid losing to Mallorca in the previous round has left Sevilla third in the table. Although they are level on points with second-placed Barcelona, the Catalans have a game in hand. Sevilla are just four points clear of Real Betis in fifth place while Real Sociedad are also entering the discussions of a top four finish. Therefore, there will be pressure on Lopetegui’s side to continue picking up points and ending the season on a strong note.
Sevilla have never finished higher than fourth in La Liga since 2009 and therefore, getting a third-place finish would also be a huge achievement. However, the general mood in the camp will be one of disappointment, especially after their exit from the Europa League at the last 16 stages. Sevilla ended up losing to West Ham United over the two legs of the tie and will now have all of their focus on La Liga.
Lopetegui’s side have been in excellent form at home this season. They’ve picked up 37 points from their 15 matches in the league and they are also unbeaten at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan. However, in the case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, they will be welcoming Real Madrid, who are the best away side in La Liga this season. Los Blancos have claimed 35 points from their 15 matches on the road.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, will have the wind sailing in their sails. Real Madrid were in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League as they trailed Chelsea 0-3 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of the quarter-final. That was enough to erase Real Madrid’s lead from the 1-3 victory at the Stamford Bridge the week prior.
However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side didn’t throw in the towel. Luka Modric and Karim Benzema raised their game as Real Madrid ended up winning 5-4 on aggregate after scoring two goals in the match. Although they lost that particular game 2-3 in front of their own fans, they will not be concerned about it after a spectacular comeback. Real Madrid will now face Manchester City in the last four of Europe’s prestigious competition.
They are also in a commanding position in La Liga and have a 12-point lead at the top of the table. This should allow them to divert enough attention towards facing Pep Guardiola’s side in the pursuit of European glory.
Following the humbling at the hands of Barcelona in El Clasico, Carlo Ancelotti’s team have recorded consecutive league wins over Celta Vigo and Getafe. They have 72 points to their name this season and although Barcelona do have a game in hand, which could potentially see the lead being cut down to just nine points, Los Blancos have enough insurance in the bank, bar the most miraculous comeback. It is difficult to imagine Real Madrid dropping points that will allow others to creep into the title race.
Real Madrid will also take on Osasuna and Espanyol in April before facing Atletico Madrid, Levante Cadiz, and Real Betis next month. They are still in the hunt for both La Liga as well as the Champions League and a win against Sevilla will do wonders for their confidence in the closing stages of the season.
SEV vs RMA, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 18th April, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Sevilla La Liga form:
Sevilla form (all competitions):
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Sevilla wins: 16
Real Madrid wins: 33
SEV vs RMA TEAM NEWS:
Sevilla Team News: Karim Rekik, Fernando and Suso are expected to be absentees once again for severe this weekend through injury. The big clash against Real Madrid is also expected to be too soon for Thomas Delaney to recover from his calf strain.
Rafa Mir’s wonderful performance off the bench against Granada in the previous clash might’ve done enough for him to warrant a start in the starting XI. However, the bulk of the previous XI is expected to remain unchanged.
Anthony Martial, Lucas Ocampos and Jesus Corona are all set for a start, while Ivan Rakitic and Joan Jordan are expected to be the engines in midfield for the hosts.
Real Madrid Team News: As far as the league leaders are concerned, Casemiro is expected to miss the match due to suspension. Full backs Marcelo and Ferland Mendy and forward Eden Hazard are all injured as well.
There are also doubts on the participation of Dani Ceballos and Jesus Vallejo, who had tested positive for COVID-19 recently. Their fitness and illness will be diagnosed before the game. Meanwhile, Isco also faces a tough race against time to overcome a back problem.
Karim Benzema and Nacho both had picked up slight knocks against Chelsea in the previous match and were doubtful for this contest. However, they have been cleared to play from the start.
Youngster Eduardo Camavinga could get the nod over Federico Valverde in the heart of the midfield, whereas veterans Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are also expected to start. Rodrigo may partner Vinicius and Benzema to complete the frontline for Real Madrid.
Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Augustinsson; Jordan, Rakitic; Ocampos, Martial, Corona; Rafa Mir
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
SEV vs RMA Predictions:
Real Madrid have won on both of their last two visits to the Estadi Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville. However, Los Nervionenses haven’t lost a game at home all season. Despite Real Madrid’s Champions League comeback prowess as well as their dominance on top of La Liga this season, a draw looks like the most obvious outcome of this clash. Both sides have their fair share of strengths and weaknesses and the team who utilizes its chances better is expected to come out on top.