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Preview: Villarreal vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Villarreal vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Sevilla, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seventh will welcome fourth in La Liga on Sunday evening as Villarreal and Sevilla prepare to lock horns at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Villarreal can finish as high as fifth this season, while Sevilla could still finish second, but Julen Lopetegui's side are no longer in the title race despite an excellent last couple of months.

Match preview

Villarreal will enter Sunday's contest off the back of a 2-0 victory at Real Valladolid on Thursday evening, with Gerard Moreno and Etienne Capoue scoring in the second half to secure all three points.

The Yellow Submarine are currently seventh in the table, level on points with sixth-placed Real Betis and just a point behind fifth-placed Real Sociedad, with the three sides seemingly fighting for the spot just outside the Champions League positions.

Unai Emery's side could still qualify for next season's Champions League, though, as they will take on Manchester United in the final of the Europa League at the end of the month.

Villarreal actually have an incredibly tough end to the season, with a trip to Real Madrid to come on the final weekend, and Los Blancos will still hope to be in the title race entering that match.

The Europa League finalists have found it difficult to show consistency at home in the league this season, winning seven, drawing six and losing five of their 18 matches on their own patch, and they will be welcoming a Sevilla team that have won 10 times on their travels in La Liga this term.

Sevilla could still finish level on points with leaders Atletico, but Diego Simeone's side have a better head-to-head record, meaning that Los Nervionenses are not able to win the title even if they pick up six more points and Atletico, Real Madrid and Barcelona all lose their next two.

Lopetegui's team are only two points behind third-placed Barca, though, and there is no question that it would go down as a successful campaign if they managed to break into the top three.

Sevilla's form between March 14 and April 25 was incredible, managing to win seven of their eight league matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, to pull themselves into title contention.

Lopetegui's side lost at home to Athletic Bilbao at the start of the month, though, before dropping two more points away to Real Madrid, which all but ended their title hopes.

The 1945-46 Spanish champions, who beat Valencia 1-0 on Wednesday night, will be determined to finish their season with wins over Villarreal and Alaves, which might yet be enough to climb into the top three.

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Sevilla La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Villarreal will be missing at least six first-team players this weekend, including Mario Gaspar, Geronimo Rulli and Capoue, who are all suspended.

Vicente Iborra, Juan Foyth and Samuel Chukwueze are also unavailable through injury, meanwhile, but Francis Coquelin could shake off a knock to feature at the base of the midfield.

There might be a start in the final third of the field for Yeremi Pino, but Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno should both keep their spots as Emery looks to cause Sevilla problems in a defensive area.

As for the visitors, head coach Lopetegui has a full complement of players, and there are expected to be a number of changes from the side that started against Valencia.

Marcos Acuna, Fernando, Papu Gomez, Lucas Ocampos and Ivan Rakitic should all return to the first XI, but Jesus Navas, Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos are likely to retain their spots at the back.

Luuk de Jong is an option for change in the final third of the field, but Youssef En-Nesyri scored his 18th league goal of the season against Valencia and should retain his spot.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; G Moreno, Alcacer, Pino

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Fernando, Rakitic, Gomez; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

We say: Villarreal 1-1 Sevilla

Villarreal are certainly a team to be respected at this level of football, and we fancy the Yellow Submarine to claim a share of the spoils here. Sevilla's momentum has been broken recently, and the corresponding match between the two sides last season ended in a draw, which leads us to predict a stalemate here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331
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