Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Sevilla

Dan Steeden in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 8 Dec 2017

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Verdict: Real Madrid Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmakers: William Hill

Struggling super club Real Madrid welcome rivals Sevilla to the Bernabeu on Saturday for a La Liga clash between two sides tied on 28 points. Los Blancos have been struggling somewhat this season, and find themselves eight points behind league leaders and eternal rivals Barcelona. Los Nervionenses meanwhile have seen their away form drop off a cliff since the start of the season, which has prevented them from climbing the table any further. With very little separating the two sides in the table, this game is a must-win affair as they fight for a Champions League place.

Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane’s side have been relatively inconsistent so far this season, recording costly draws in winnable games against Levante and Bilbao, and a home defeat against Real Betis. Their struggles have coincided with the poor form of both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have combined for just four league goals all season. The usually reliable pair have become almost undroppable over the past few seasons, so Zidane is under huge pressure to get them back to their best quickly.

Los Blancos have only won two of their last five La Liga games, and have now failed to win six times this season. Their poor form means that the title is almost out of reach, with Barcelona leading by eight points, but every game has now become a must-win fixture for Real as they look to capitalise on any slip-up above them. They have still managed to score 25 times in the league this season, despite their misfiring forwards, and are certainly still capable of beating any team in world football.

Team News

Zinedine Zidane faces a selection dilemma as starting defenders Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal are both suspended, as is defensive midfielder Casemiro. Their absences will limit Real’s ability to stop Sevilla’s attacks.

Backup centre half Jesus Vallejo has recovered from a thigh issue and should start this game, as should young fullback Achraf Hakimi.

Sevilla

In contrast to their opponents this weekend, Los Nervionenses have won their last three on the spin in La Liga, and have been slowly climbing the table. They now find themselves level on points with Real Madrid, with the opportunity to go fourth, or even third, with a positive result. Sevilla haven’t been a particularly free scoring team this season, and both Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel have failed to establish themselves as a hugely convincing, nailed on starting forward. The pair have three goals each this season, with four other players tied on two goals.

The spread of goal scorers however hasn’t impacted their performances too much, and Eduardo Berizzo, who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, has led his side to more wins than Real so far. Sevilla also managed to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League after a draw against Maribor in midweek, which means that they will head into this game with a good level of confidence. Their away form is inconsistent at best, having won three of their seven games away from the Sánchez Pizjuán, but they should put up a decent fight this weekend.

Team News

Sevilla don’t face many injury issues, and they should be able to call on Johannes Geis, Franco Vazquez, Nolito and David Soria after they were rested in midweek.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Real Madrid have won four of their seven La Liga games at the Bernabeu this season.
  • Los Blancos have scored 25 times in 14 league games, despite Cristiano Ronaldo having netted just twice.
  • Sevilla meanwhile have won just three of their seven away games in this campaign.
  • Los Nervionenses have scored 19 times, making them the lowest scorers inside the top six.
  • Three of Real’s starting defenders will be missing for this game, as will defensive midfielder Casemiro.

Conclusion

Real Madrid are the better team, and with Cristiano Ronaldo breaking another goal scoring record in the Champions League in midweek, it looks like this could be his bounce back week. However, with Zidane facing a decimated defensive line due to a whole host of suspensions, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Sevilla grab a couple of goals in this one.

Verdict: Real Madrid Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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