Real Madrid vs Sevilla: Talking points

The main talking points ahead of Real Madrid's La Liga clash with Sevilla.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
12th May 2017

article:12th May 2017

Real Madrid continue their quest for a first La Liga title in five years at home to fourth-placed Sevilla on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane’s side currently sit second in the table, level on points with leaders Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand.


Here, we looks at the main talking points ahead of a potentially-crucial match at the Bernabeu.

FIGHTING ON TWO FRONTS

Real have been balancing their attempts to win the Spanish title for the first time since 2012 with trying to become the first team to retain the Champions League.

While rivals Barcelona, who were knocked out of Europe last month, have had seven days’ rest between their last two league fixtures, Zidane’s men have faced two midweek games against neighbours Atletico, the second of which proved a real test.

Real have shown they can cut it in Europe, lifting the Champions League trophy twice in three years, but recent domestic failures mean plenty of question marks surround their ability to challenge at home and abroad.

MORE SEVILLA PUNISHMENT?

Real were unbeaten this season until the reverse fixture in January. They looked on course to continue that record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan until two goals in the final six minutes earned the hosts a 2-1 victory.

The manner of the late loss, courtesy of a Sergio Ramos own goal against his former club and a 90th-minute strike from Stevan Jovetic, will have hurt Real and they will be intent on revenge to move within touching distance of the title.

Sevilla, however, will be in no mood to roll over as they attempt to complete a memorable double by winning at the Bernabeu for the first time in eight seasons.

WILL IN-FORM JAMES HAUNT SEVILLA AGAIN?

James Rodriguez has played an increasingly prominent role in Real’s title bid and he has a fine scoring record against Sevilla. The Colombia international, who has scored five times in his last four outings, has found the back of the net against Los Nervionenses in each of his three seasons at the Bernabeu.

Along with Granada, they are the team he has had most goalscoring success against. He claimed the opener in a 2-1 league victory in 2015, scored a consolation in a 3-2 defeat in Andalusia the following year before bagging a brace during the 3-0 Copa del Rey victory this campaign.

VISITORS COULD ENSURE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

More important than ending their poor record in Madrid, Sevilla can seal a Champions League spot this weekend. A top-four finish is almost certainly assured, but they still need a point to mathematically guarantee it.

Defeat at Real, coupled with victory for Villarreal at home to Deportivo, would leave them requiring a result heading into the final weekend and put them under avoidable pressure. That said, they conclude the campaign at home to relegated Osasuna, a team they would expect to comfortably beat.

SAMPAOLI WILL WANT STRONG FINISH

It was not that long ago that Sevilla were in title contention and manager Jorge Sampaoli was being tipped to move on to bigger and better things.

The Argentinian, in his debut season in Spain after leading Chile to successive Copa America wins, was talked about as a potential successor to Luis Enrique at Barcelona, although that speculation died down amid three league wins from 11 – including a comprehensive loss in the Nou Camp – and Champions League elimination to Leicester.

Sampaoli will no doubt be desperate for Sevilla to finish the campaign in style and restore any damage to his reputation.

Press Association


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