Lopez expects fiery Sevilla in encounter

Espanyol midfielder David Lopez has warned that his team could be on the receiving end of a backlash when they travel to Sevilla on Sunday.

Sevilla midfielder Vitolo

The Catalans head to the Sanchez Pizjuan three days after Unai Emery's side's hopes of making the semi-finals of the Europa League were left hanging in the balance by a 1-0 defeat at Porto.

It was Sevilla's second straight defeat - following their 1-0 reverse at Celta Vigo - but Lopez is taking nothing for granted against a team who less than a fortnight ago beat Real Madrid to cap six consecutive league wins.

"Sevilla are performing at a very high level. They are a top team that are good enough to play in one tournament to the next," he told reporters.

However, if Espanyol leave Seville with a win, they will move on to 43 points, which will all but guarantee them survival in the top flight, and Lopez said: "We are very keen to finally secure survival because that's what everyone's talking about."

Espanyol will have to make do without key personnel against Sevilla, with Diego Colotto, Victor Sanchez and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla all suspended.

Lopez said of the absentees: "I'm not worried about that at all. We have players in the squad who can do just as well."

Casilla's absence means 21-year-old German Parreno is expected to get a rare start, and Lopez has every faith the youngster will be up to the task.

"He's perfectly capable of playing," said Lopez. "We have to give him our support and encouragement.

"He knows what he can bring to the team and we have complete confidence in him."

Sevilla have no fresh injury concerns and boast the sixth strongest home record in the league, but Espanyol midfielder Abraham Gonzalez believes his team, who became the first side to win at Athletic Bilbao in the league this season, have nothing to fear.

"We've always given a good showing in difficult stadiums," he told reporters.

"We won at San Mames and although we lost at the Bernabeu and the Nou Camp, we put up a fight. Sevilla are a very difficult team and are on a very good run, but if we compete as we always do then we will have a chance."



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