24th April 2011
Sitting just outside the European places Sevilla desperately need a victory in this match in order to put extra pressure on their rivals, whereas Villarreal are really close to securing the final Champions League berth and they could have one eye on the Europa League semi-final game against Porto due next Wednesday.
Sevilla are one of the most inconsistent sides in La Liga this season and los Rojiblancos have had a lot of problems finding the form that had served them so well the previous seasons, but if they managed to ensure European qualification, everything will be forgotten. In all fairness to boss Gregorio Manzano, numerous injuries to the playing squad certainly didn’t help, although we have to say that los Rojiblanocos have shown a lot of improvement in the second part of the season. Sevilla ended the four-match unbeaten run as they lost away to Getafe, and they will be very motivated to return to winning ways against Villarreal. Having won four and drawn two of their last six home games, Sevilla look like the favourites in this clash, especially as Villarreal boss Juan Carlos Garrido is unlikely to field his strongest line-up. The hosts are missing Gary Medel, Frederic Kanoute and Alexis Ruano, but Perotti and Dragutinovic return to the side.
Villarreal are doing well on all fronts this season, with the Yellow Submarine on the right road to make this one of the most successful seasons in their recent history. Juan Carlos Garrido’s side look set to finish the La Liga campaign in 4th place as they are six points clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and have a game in hand, so everything suggests the Yellow Submarine will shift their focus to the Europa League campaign, where they will face mighty Porto in the semi-finals. Everybody at the club dreams about a European title and Villarreal will do everything they can to win the Europa League trophy this term. With the Porto game just four days after the clash in Seville, Juan Carlos Garrido is likely to rest several starters at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, even though he will be looking to win this game. Marcos Senna has resumed training but he is not yet ready for first team football, while Angel Lopez and Xavi Oliva remain sidelined.
Sevilla desperately need points in order to catch their rivals for European places and they could extend the good home run against what will be a weakened Villarreal side. The visitors will not be fully focused on this match and that is likely to cost them the three points.
Verdict: Home win Sevilla (1)
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