I’ve dubbed this match in my head the ‘Unai Emery derby’, since Emery was so very successful at Sevilla. We’ve only lost once in our last 13 matches in clubs from the city of Seville, and have avoided defeat (winning about half the time) against Sevilla themselves for a few years. Let’s hope that continues, as this match is very important for the race to the top four.
Ruben starts ahead of the injured Mario, no surprises to be found in this one, save perhaps Pedraza at LB. Sevilla will look to control possession against us, and Emery has shown a penchant for adjusting his tactics against such teams. The key will be winning aerial battles in the box, as Sevilla love to put in crosses, and Pau Torres for all his brilliance isn’t the best in the air. Also of note, it’s a bit shocking when you look at how many people on the bench are not even yet 20 years old.
Bono starts in goal for the injured Vaclik, but for my money he’s their better keeper anyway. Jesus Navas is a wonderful creative fullback, and I’m a bit nervous about Pedraza having to cover that side of the pitch. I’ll feel better if Estupinan comes on at some point. En-Nesyri is okay, but the real danger man for them is of course Ocampos, and we’ll need to keep him under wraps. Full strength, I think we are clearly better than this time, but with some of the improvisations in our lineup, I’m admittedly nervous.
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