Midfielder Vitolo is determined to turn Sevilla’s form around and keep their hopes of Champions League progression alive when they travel to Borussia Monchengladbach in Group D on Wednesday.
A 2-0 loss to managerless Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday marked a third loss in four outings for Unai Emery’s team – a slump surprisingly punctuated by a 3-2 win over Real Madrid.
Sevilla comfortably dispatched Monchengladbach 3-0 in their opening group match in September but they have since lost at Juventus and in back-to-back matches with Manchester City.
The Europa League holders need City to prevent a Juventus win in Turin on matchday five and beat Gladbach to maintain their slim hopes of a last-16 berth.
Vitolo felt the loss to Sociedad was a “very strange game” and hopes his team-mates are not too far away from a decisive performance.
“We are very close,” he told the club’s official website.
“After this defeat we have no choice but to continue working on Wednesday.
“Hopefully we can give joy to the fans.”
Gladbach are out of contention to reach the Champions League knockouts but can still pip Sevilla to the Europa League spot on offer for the third-placed team in the group following a pair of encouraging draws with Juventus.
The Bundesliga side are a wholly different proposition to the side Sevilla tackled on their own patch, with coach Andre Schubert having revitalised their fortunes.
Lucien Favre resigned when a defeat to Cologne on the back of the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan reverse extended an early-season losing streak to six matches.
Since Schubert took up the reins, initially as caretaker coach, Gladbach have only lost once in all competitions – when Sergio Aguero netted a last-minute penalty for City at Borussia-Park.
They are now on a nine-match unbeaten run, one that Schubert is keen to extend.
“We have to reach our limit against Sevilla and give everything we have,” he said.
“Our goal is of course to win the game, but we are not putting ourselves under pressure.
“The only duty we have is to give everything until the last second.”
Both teams have significant injury problems ahead of the match, with Sevilla hit by the news that on-loan Inter centre-back Marco Andreolli is likely to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.
Andreolli joins Daniel Carrico (hamstring), Gael Kakuta (thigh) and Beto (knee) on the sidelines.
Schubert must operate without Alvaro Dominguez (back) and long-term absentees Andre Hahn (leg), Patrick Herrmann, Nico Schulz (knee) and Martin Stranzl (head).
Lars Stindl, who opened the scoring in Gladbach’s 2-1 loss to City – is a booking away from a European suspension.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!