Monday, May 29, 2017

Prediction: Sevilla vs Villarreal

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

The two sides were expected to be vying for a top 4 berth, but while Sevilla are doing better than expected and are challenging the El Clasico rivals for the La Liga trophy, Villarreal are in with a shot of climbing to Champions League positions. Regardless, we should witness a cracking game of football at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Sevilla

While many believed that Sevilla have reached its limit under Unai Emery, new boss Jorge Sampaoli is proving there was still room for improvement. Los Rojiblancos are enjoying one of the most successful La Liga campaigns in recent years and if it hadn’t been for the unfortunate defeat to Espanyol last weekend, they would still be sitting sandwiched between the El Clasico rivals. Sevilla headed to Catalnuya high on confidence having won previous five league fixtures, but a penalty for the hosts and red card for Nico Pareja few minutes after the kick-off completely changed the course of the game. Los Rojiblancos fought bravely and managed to level the score through January recruit Stevan Jovetic, but they eventually succumbed to a 3-1 loss. The challenge now is to try and return to winning ways as quickly as possible and we trust Sevilla to succeed in their quest. Jorge Sampaoli’s charges have been relentless at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, winning eight of last nine league matches there, defeating both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, and only losing to Barcelona, so we have reason to believe the trend will continue against Villarreal.

Team News

Nico Pareja is banned after the red card against Espanyol, but Vitolo should be back in contention. Daniel Carrico, Benoit Tremoulinas and Michael Krohn-Dehli remain sidelined.

Villarreal

Villarreal have done pretty well this season, as they now sit mere two points behind top 4 positions, which is a real feat considering that the Yellow Submarine have faced serious selection problems. Key forward Roberto Soldado has yet to feature this season, while his strike partner Cedric Bakambu has also missed quite a few games through injury and international duty, but summer recruits Nicola Sansone and Alexandre Pato stepped up to save the day. The latter has since left the club to sign a lucrative contract with Tianjin Quanjian, and with this year’s top scorer Sansone sidelined through injury, problems continue to mount for Fran Escriba. Cedric Bakambu is unlikely to be ready for the Sevilla game as he will only return to the club on Thursday at the earliest, while Roberto Soriano and Alvaro Gonzalez also miss out. It is, therefore, not realistic to expect that Villarreal will be able to match full-strength Sevilla at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan that has long ago become a real fortress in both Spain and Europe.

Team News

Bruno Soriano and Alvaro Gonzalez are banned, while Nicola Sansone, Roberto Soldado and Mateo Musacchio are out injured.

Cedric Bakambu and Denis Cheryshev will probably have to settle for a place on the bench as they are not in the best physical shape.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Over 2.5 goals were scored in five of their last seven meetings
  • Sevilla won six of their last nine games vs Villarreal (D2 L1)
  • Los Rojiblancos won eight of last nine La Liga fixtures at home (L1)
  • Villarreal failed to score in four of last six away games in the league
  • The visitors are missing a number of first team regulars

Conclusion

Sevilla have been very convincing at home and they are on top of their game at the moment, so we definitely expect them to defeat under-strength Villarreal, who will be missing all recognised strikers plus captain Bruno Soriano and defender Alvaro Gonzalez.

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

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