Both Sevilla and Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from Champions League disappointment when they face off in La Liga on Saturday (3:15pm kick-off).
Sevilla had already confirmed their qualification for the knockout rounds but missed the chance to win Group E as they were routinely beaten 4-0 by Premier League side Chelsea. But while Sevilla’s last-16 spot is secured, and they know there is an opportunity to rest next week against Rennes, Real Madrid still have everything to play for.
As things stand, the 13-time European champions are on their way to the Europa League, currently sitting third in Group B after a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk, who completed the double against Los Blancos. In one of the most exciting groups going into the final week of fixtures, Real Madrid need to better Shakhtar Donetsk’s result against Inter Milan when they face Borussia Monchengladbach or risk bowing out at the group stage for the first time.
But for now, attention turns to La Liga, and the Spanish champions are again looking to recover from a defeat. Zinedine Zidane’s side lost to Alaves last weekend, their third game without a win in the league, to slip seven points behind early leaders Real Sociedad. They are one point and one place above this weekend’s hosts Sevilla, who do have a game in hand over Los Blancos.
Form is on Sevilla’s side too, with Julen Lopetegui’s side losing just one of their past 15 home La Liga games, though they did taste defeat the last time they hosted Real Madrid.
Where to watch Sevilla vs Real Madrid on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
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Sevilla & Real Madrid’s previous line-ups:
- Sevilla (vs Chelsea): Pastor; Navas, Gomez, Diego Carlos, Rekik; Gudelj, Rakitic; F Vazquez, Rodriguez, Idrissi; En-Nesyri.
- Real Madrid (vs Shakhtar Donetsk): Courtois; L Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Kroos; Rodrygo, Odegaard, Asensio; Benzema.
Sevilla rotated their team for the game against Chelsea and, as such, will return to full strength with the likes of Jules Kounde and Lucas Ocampos expected to start, but goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik is still a doubt. However, Sevilla have also been boosted by the return of Bono and Carlos Fernandez to training on Thursday, so the duo could be in contention to play some part.
Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal both continue to train individually so Saturday may come too soon for the pair, but otherwise Real Madrid have no fresh injury concerns, with Eden Hazard and Federico Valverde still out.
Players to watch:
- Sevilla: Lucas Ocampos. Sevilla were lacking any real attacking inspiration when they faced Chelsea in the Champions League, struggling to create too many chances outside of set pieces. But with Ocampos expected to start this weekend, they will have someone capable of hurting opposition defenders from high up the pitch. While Jesus Navas is Sevilla’s top creator in La Liga, creating 21 chances and recording three assists, they need that attacking threat further up. Ocampos can bring that, in both goals and assists, although both have been slightly rarer that he would have liked so far this season. The Argentinian has created 10 chances in La Liga (third at Sevilla) but they have been converted to two assists, bettered only by Navas. But Ocampos has also scored one, being directly involved in a quarter of Sevilla’s La Liga goals. If anyone has a chance of breaching Real Madrid’s shaky defence, it’s him.
- Real Madrid: Martin Odegaard. While Real Madrid do have their defensive problems, conceding 12 goals in the league this season, they also have some issues in attack. Against Alaves they were restricted to just one goal, a late consolation from Casemiro when their opponents had the win secured and then, just a few days later, they drew a blank away to Shakhtar Donetsk. One player that may be key in their attempts to rectify the issue is Odegaard. The Norwegian started on Wednesday in place of the injured Hazard, as the central attacking option in midfield. After an excellent season on loan with Real Sociedad in 2019/20, Odegaard is yet to transfer that form to his parent club, though he has had his problems with injuries. But ahead of a busy period, and with Real Madrid potentially favouring next week’s Champions League game, now is the time for Odegaard to make his mark.
Scoreline prediction: Sevilla 1-0 Real Madrid
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Sevilla: LLWWW
- Real Madrid: WWLDL
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