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Preview: Real Madrid vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Real Madrid vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Sevilla, including team news and predicted lineups.

Fresh from winning the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, Real Madrid will resume their La Liga campaign this weekend with a home game against Sevilla.

Los Blancos are currently second to Barcelona in Spain's top flight on goal difference, while Sevilla occupy fourth position having enjoyed a successful 2019-20 campaign to date.

Match preview

In the grand scheme of things, Madrid will not have viewed the newly-formed Spanish Super Cup as a priority this season. As it turned out, though, they were paired with bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in Sunday's final and consequently there is no question that Zinedine Zidane's side would have been desperate to win it.

Los Blancos needed penalties to overcome Atletico in the showpiece final, having progressed to that stage courtesy of a 3-1 success over Valencia in the semi-finals. Another trophy has been added to the cabinet, but the capital giants must immediately switch their attention back to the league.

Madrid started 2020 with a 3-0 success at Getafe, meaning that they have now won 11 of their 19 league matches this season. A total of 40 points sees them occupy second spot in the table, level on points with Barca, who have not shown their best form this season.

Zidane's side have not actually lost a single game at the Bernabeu this season, although they did draw 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao in their last game at home on December 22.

Sevilla have not beaten Madrid in La Liga at the Bernabeu since December 2008, however, and there is no question that it would be a shock if the visitors picked up all three points on Saturday afternoon.

Sevilla finished sixth in La Liga last term but are well-placed to challenge for a return to the Champions League for the 2020-21 campaign as they occupy fourth position after 19 matches of this season.

Ten wins and five draws have seen Julen Lopetegui's side collect 35 points, leaving them level with third-placed Atletico Madrid. They are actually only five points off the top of the table, which is impressive at this stage.

Like Madrid, Sevilla will enter this match in good form having won three of their last four matches in all competitions, including a 5-0 success over Escobedo in the Copa del Rey last weekend.

That said, Los Palanganas have only won one of their last four in La Liga, drawing with Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao and losing to Villarreal in recent weeks.

Sevilla have been victorious in three of their last five league games on the road, though, and there is no question that they have the players to make it a very uncomfortable 90 minutes for Zidane's side.

Real Madrid La Liga form: WWDDDW
Real Madrid form (all competitions): DDDWWW

Sevilla La Liga form: WWDLWD
Sevilla form (all competitions): LLWWDW

Team News

Madrid will be without the services of midfielder Federico Valverde through suspension following his red card against Atletico, while Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard remain on the sidelines.

Neither Karim Benzema nor Luka Jovic trained on Wednesday as the pair deal with separate issues, although it is thought that the latter has a chance of recovering in time to feature at the tip of the attack.

Gareth Bale is also pushing to be involved having overcome illness, while captain Sergio Ramos is also believed to be winning his race to shake off an ankle injury in time for the clash with his former club.

Isco should also keep his spot in the side despite the presence of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior, while Ferland Mendy is expected to start ahead of Marcelo at left-back.

As for Sevilla, key attacker Lucas Ocampos, who has five La Liga goals this season, will miss out through suspension having picked up a booking against Bilbao last time out, while Joan Jordan is a doubt through injury.

Ever Banega, Diego Carlos and Oliver Torres should shake off concerns to feature, but Javier Hernandez is unlikely to be involved as the Mexico international continues to be linked with a move away from the club.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Jovic, Isco

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Navas, Carrico, Carlos, Kounde; Banega, Fernando, Jordan; Torres, Munir, Vazquez

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla

Madrid's problems in the final third makes this a very tough game for the hosts. Zidane's side have been strong at the Bernabeu this term, though, and we fancy them to put another three points on the board.

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