Sevilla will be hoping to keep their Europa League dreams alive when they host a Real Madrid team aiming to leapfrog Atletico and take second position in the standings.
9 May 2018
Kick-off: 21H30 local time
Venue: Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Referee: A. Mateu
Assistants: P. Cebrian, R. Diaz
Fourth official: F. Miralles
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Sevilla 51 13 4 34
Real Madrid 51 34 4 13
Real Madrid 5-0 Sevilla 9/12/17 (La Liga)
Real Madrid goalscorers: Nacho (3′), C. Ronaldo (23′, pen 31′), T. Kroos (38′), A. Hakimi (42′)
Players to watch:
Sevilla may look to central midfielder Ever Banega for inspiration against Real. The 29-year-old Argentine slotted the penalty to beat Real Sociedad and produced an assist in the 2-1 defeat to Levante a week earlier. He has scored five goals across all competitions this season.
With Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined, Los Blancos could be backing Karim Benzema to continue the form he showed against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. The French striker bagged a brace last Tuesday to help them reach the final.
Team form and manager quotes:
Sevilla won their last league outing 1-0 at home against Real Sociedad on Friday, thanks to Ever Banega’s 47th-minute penalty. However, they have struggled for consistency in recent weeks.
The win against Sociedad was their first victory in eight La Liga fixtures. They lost four and drew three of their previous seven games, dropping from fifth to eighth in the standings. Sevilla need to close a six-point gap in three games to clinch a Europa League spot.
Sevilla will be led by caretaker manager Joaquin Caparros for the remainder of the season after the dismissal of Vincenzo Montella last week. Caparros managed Sevilla between 2000 and 2005 and stated that he doesn’t want to be paid to manage the club for the last month of the season.
He told Onda Cero: “I honestly did not think it was necessary for the club to pay me. My contract is only for a month and the only matches we have remaining are to be played in Seville (three at home, one at city rivals Real Betis) so there are no expenses.”
Meanwhile, Real are looking to get back to winning ways after the 2-2 draw against Barcelona on Sunday. They are unbeaten in their last nine La Liga games, but dropped points against Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Barca.
Zinedine Zidane’s men are third in the league and trail Atletico by three points but have a game in hand over their local rivals. After the Sevilla clash, Real will face Celta Vigo and Villarreal to finish their season.
Zidane told his press conference: “It’s important to start the game well because Sevilla will pile the pressure on and we will have to play as best we can from the start.
“Caparros often puts out a team that puts the pressure on and plays with high intensity. I saw the game against Real Sociedad and they took them to the limit. It will be a great game.
“We have three La Liga games to go and tomorrow we will give our all. We hope to end up as high up the table as possible. It is a chance to get three points, but we know that they want to play their game. You are about to see a special match and that is the important factor.”
One last stop at the training village before hosting @realmadriden 💪
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) 7 May 2018
Sevilla are expected to be without injured trio Sebastien Corchia, Simon Kjaer and Jesus Navas.
Cristiano Ronaldo is out injured, while Isco trained this week but is a doubt for the game and Daniel Carvajal is not quite match fit yet.