Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 11/13
Fresh from their Champions League elimination, Spanish side Sevilla turn their focus back to La Liga as they lock horns with fellow top-six contenders Villarreal in a lunch-time clash this Saturday.
Los Rojiblancos were unable to overturn the 2-1 deficit from the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie against Bayern Munich and ended up stepping off the international stage with a valiant goalless draw at Allianz Arena.
Sevilla put in a spirited performance across both legs against the Bavarian behemoths. Still, the Nervioneses just couldn’t find the goals needed to keep their Champions League dream alive against the newly crowned Bundesliga champions. Montella’s men will have nothing to be ashamed of as they bowed out of Europe’s elite club competition with their heads held high. They now turn their attention to securing the European football for next season through La Liga and Copa del Rey final against Barcelona later this month. Sevilla find themselves sitting in seventh place in the La Liga standings, one point behind their Saturday rivals. They are coming off from a four-match winless run in the league and will be determined to get back to winning ways against the side they last lost to in 2015.
French defender Sebastien Corchia is suffering from a groin problem and is likely to miss the Saturday showdown.
The hosts are expected to be without Lionel Carole and Simon Kjaer as well, with both defenders struggling with muscle problems of late.
The Yellow Submarine will be keen to end their two-match losing run when they travel to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan but that will be easier said than done with everything that’s been going on lately.
Having suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Malaga, Villarreal played host to 12th-placed Athletic Bilbao on Monday night looking to bounce back up on their feet and maintain their top-five status in La Liga. Their clash against the Basque side ended up being an utterly disappointing affair which brought plenty of bad news for the home side on the night. Villarreal struggled from the off, failing to put Kepa Arrizabalaga in any danger for most of the match. Carlos Bacca’s goal on the hour mark was a poor consolation in a 3-1 loss ahead of a high-profile clash against Sevilla. In addition to a lost game, Villarreal were given a scare when midfielder Pablo Fornals collapsed in the sixth minute of the match. He was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with presyncope. Fornals experienced a similar problem back in December when he collapsed in training due to hypoglycemia. He was given all-clear following a night’s observation this time and should return to training shortly.
Pablo Fornals will not be in contention for the Saturday’s match despite getting a thumb up from the doctors.
Villarreal will have a number of selection problems for the Sevilla clash with Gonzales Soberon and Ruben Semedo as confirmed absentees, whereas Bruno, Costa, Jaume, and Ruiz are all huge selection doubts due to illness and injury.
Key Factors to Consider
- The two teams are only a point apart in the standings
- Sevilla have failed to win any of their last 4 La Liga games
- The hosts won only one of their last five home matches in all competitions
- Villarreal recorded only one away win in last six attempts
- The Yellow Submarine last triumphed at Sevilla back in 2012
Sevilla will be highly motivated to get back to winning ways after their Champions League elimination. With only domestic exploits to worry about, Montella’s men will be fully focused on getting the best possible standings during the remaining seven matches. The first step would be to beat Villareal and leapfrog them in the standings.
Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 11/13
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