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Sep 22, 2019 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Sevilla and Real Madrid, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain when they travel to the Estadio Ramon to face Sevilla on Sunday night.

Los Blancos saw their Champions League campaign get off to a poor start, but Zinedine Zidane's side are currently third in La Liga - two points off leaders Sevilla after four matches of the new season.


Now under the management of Julen Lopetegui, it would be fair to say that there has been a lot of change at Sevilla since the end of last season. Key players in the shape of Wissam Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia have moved on, but a busy summer saw the Spanish outfit splash the cash on a number of new signings.

Sevilla's sixth-place finish last season was seen as a disappointment, even if they were only two points off the final Champions League position. There is no top-level European football at the Estadio Ramon this season, but they opened their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 win at Qarabag on Thursday night.

Lopetegui's side have also made impressive start to the new La Liga campaign, winning three and drawing one of their four games to top the table on 10 points. The Seville outfit opened the season with back-to-back victories over Espanyol and Granada before drawing at home to Celta Vigo at the end of August.

The White and Reds then returned to winning ways last weekend as Joan Jordan scored the only goal in a 1-0 success away to Alaves. Sevilla lead the pile in Spain's top flight, although there are only three points between first position and seventh spot during an open start to the campaign.

Los Blancos recorded a 2-0 win when the pair last locked horns in January, but Sevilla have won each of their last four La Liga clashes with Madrid at the Estadio Ramon. Indeed, not since May 2015 have the capital giants been victorious in this particular fixture, which will hand the home side plenty of confidence.

It remains to be seen how Lopetegui balances the league and Europa League in the coming months, but Sevilla's squad is very deep. The head coach rung the changes for the clash with Qarabag on Thursday night, and Javier Hernandez scored his first goal for the club during a very strong performance.

It is a big few weeks for Sevilla considering that they will travel to Eibar and Real Sociedad in their two league games after this one, before opening October at home to APOEL in the Europa League; there is then the small matter of a trip to Camp Nou to face champions Barcelona.

Dating back to last season, the White and Reds have only conceded twice in their last six La Liga matches, and having proved to be the best team that Spain have to offer in the early weeks of the new campaign, Lopetegui's team will be confident of causing Madrid more problems on Sunday night.

Recent form: WWDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWDWW

Real Madrid

All things considered, it has not exactly been a disastrous start to the campaign for Madrid. They are unbeaten in the league this season with two wins and two draws from their four matches, and a positive result this weekend could well see them top the table heading into the next set of fixtures.

Los Blancos only just squeezed past Levante in La Liga last weekend, though, before suffering a 3-0 defeat at PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The French champions were without the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani but still managed to record a comprehensive win.

Like Sevilla, the capital giants are also facing a very important few weeks as they will welcome Osasuna in the league on Wednesday night before travelling to the Wanda Metropolitano to take on bitter rivals Atletico Madrid - impressive in the early stages of the season - next weekend.

Club Brugge will then travel to the Bernabeu in the Champions League on October 1, and there will be huge pressure on the Spanish club to pick up a positive result in that match having already fallen off the pace in their group.

Eden Hazard has had a far-from-ideal start to his Madrid career due to injuries, but the Belgium international looked sluggish in pre-season, while he struggled to contribute against either Levante or PSG. The summer arrival desperately needs to step forward for his team this weekend as they are lacking inspiration in the final third.

There also remains huge speculation surrounding the future of head coach Zidane. There is believed to be friction between the boss and club president Florentino Perez over the failure to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United and indeed the saga surrounding Gareth Bale during the summer.

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho have all been linked with the post, and the alleged pressure on Zidane would only increase if the team were to suffer another poor result against Sevilla, who have looked strong this term.

For all the criticism aimed at Los Blancos, there is still a hugely talented set of players at the Bernabeu. It might not look too good for the team at the moment, but a positive result this weekend would be a step in the right direction, particularly with a trip to Atletico now on the horizon.

Recent form: WDDW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDWL

Team News

Sergio Reguilon is on loan at Sevilla from Madrid, but there is no ineligibility clause in the contract, meaning that the Spaniard is expected to face his parent club this weekend.

Javier Hernandez is pushing to start against his former club having netted against Qarabag, although it seems likely that Lopetegui will keep with the XI that took on Alaves last weekend.

As a result, Ever Banega, Oliver Torres and Luuk de Jong should all start, with the likes of Franco Vazquez and Munir El Haddadi providing strong options from the bench.

As for Madrid, Luka Modric is again expected to miss out with a thigh problem, while Isco is unlikely to be risked despite entering the latter stages of his recovery from a hamstring issue.

Marcelo is also a doubt with a neck injury, meaning that Ferland Mendy could continue at left-back.

Marco Asensio faces a battle to play again this season due to a serious knee injury, although Brahim Diaz is battling back from a groin issue and could make the bench in Seville.

Federico Valverde's absence means that James Rodriguez is likely to continue in midfield, but Zidane will welcome back both Nacho and Sergio Ramos, who missed out against PSG through suspension.

Bale missed out against Levante last weekend through suspension, but the Wales international scored twice against Villarreal in Madrid's last away league clash, which should see him make the XI once again.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Navas, Carlos, Carrico, Reguilon; Jordan, Fernando, Banega; Torres, Jong, Ocampos

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; James, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Hazard

Head To Head

As mentioned, Sevilla have won each of the last four La Liga meetings between the two teams at the Estadio Ramon - including a 3-0 success towards the start of last season.

Los Blancos have not won away to Sevilla in the top flight since May 2015, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for the capital giants in a 3-2 victory.

Incredibly, there has not actually been a league draw between these two teams since May 2005, which suggests that there will once again be a winner in Seville on Sunday night.

We say: Sevilla 2-1 Real Madrid

There is no question that Madrid have the credentials to win at the Estadio Ramon this weekend, but it is difficult to ignore Sevilla's recent home form against the capital giants. The defeat to PSG would have hurt Zidane, but the Frenchman might have to put up with more frustration on Sunday night.

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