Los Blancos v a Rejuvenated Sevilla: Pressure Rising for Los Blancos Boss Zidane
This coming Saturday sees Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid outfit host a Sevilla side which in recent weeks seem to have found their feet and have turned their campaign around after a rather stop-start opening to the La Liga campaign.
Fourth placed Real Madrid are currently 8 points behind their bitter long time arch rivals Barcelona, and they come into this encounter on the back of firing a blank against a struggling Athletic Bilbao outfit who have had a torrid time this season and have truly missed their former coach Ernesto Valverde who is now of course at Barcelona.
Real Madrid v Sevilla: Who will come out on top in this Eagerly Anticipated Pre Festive Encounter?
Los Blancos know that only one outcome will be acceptable this coming weekend, as the pressure is starting to increase on manager and club legend Zinedine Zidane, where last season, the club were sweeping aside everyone in front of them.
Sevilla on the other hand will looking to lay down another early season impressive marker and record another win to their name, since the defeat they narrowly suffered are unbeaten in 6 matches, and after officially securing their passage through to the UEFA Champions League last 16 on Wednesday will be looking to cause Real plenty of problems and mount more pressure on Los Blancos.
The two clubs kicked off their respective La Liga campaigns in very different manners.
Real Madrid started theirs back in August winning the UEFA Super Cup 2-1 against Manchester United, but after starting their La Liga campaign have experienced indifferent results mainly due to their star three attackers misfiring and goals shared around the team have also dried up. Sevilla, started their season rather like Real Madrid, no consistency in their performances which linked to their poor results, but ever since losing to the Catalans in early November, have rather impressed, and have looked like the inform side in the league and in Europe where they so impressively fought back when trailing 3-0 to a rampant attacking Liverpool side at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Real’s Talismen Misfiring
Unsurprisingly, after Zidane saw his outfit struggle against a lower league opposition in Fuenlabrada in the Copa Del Rey just like week, Zidane reverted to the team against Athletic Bilbao in their last La Liga fixture last weekend that swept everyone aside last season and were victorious in the Champions League final in Cardiff back in May.
Tellingly though, the reoccurring absence of the mercurial Welshman in Gareth Bale once again showed as Real Madrid, like on numerous occasions this season lacked the correct firepower needed in the team to make the difference and get the three points to put the pressure on Barcelona who surprisingly came unstuck earlier in the day to fellow La Liga side and last seasons Europa League semi-finalists Celta de Vigo.
Without Bale gaining full fitness, and the alarming deteriorating form of star attacking duo Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo added to the departed now Chelsea and Bayern Munich’s Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez respectively, Madrid lack the same fear factor they had in sweeping all before them last season.
Sevilla on the contrary, have also like Madrid experienced mixed fortunes to their campaign. Sevilla, currently lying 8 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona. Losing to Barcelona earlier in the season did little to at the time boost overall morale at the club. However since losing to Barcelona, are unbeaten in six games, and having secured their status in the upcoming draw in the UEFA Champions League on Monday, will look to solely focus on Spanish competitions and be a consistent rival of the chasing pack to Barcelona.
After beating La Liga strugglers Deportivo La Coruna last time out, and securing their Champions League status in Slovenia on Wednesday, Sevilla will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu in a buoyant confident mood. With the omens very much on the home side to attack and increasing pressure to win and keep close to Barcelona, Sevilla will come into this encounter with a feeling of no pressure and nothing to lose which will help aid in allowing them to express themselves on the ball and play their natural game.
Their last two meetings at the Santiago Bernabeu have seen Real Madrid come out on top on both occasions, 4-1 and 3-0 respectively.
Sevilla will be looking to continue their current impressive consistent form. Star striker Wissam Ben Yedder, with 4 goals to his name in the league this season, is a constant menace up front. Often holding the ball up well bringing other attackers into play, and his lethal finishing is key to finding space, unlocking defences and finishing off the opposition to cause devastating effect.
Despite a fairly poor start to the season, key players Ben Yedder, coupled with the impressive form of midfield maestro and former Inter Milan player Ever Banega, added to the solidity and backbone of Steven Nzonzi and centre half Clement Lenglet has transformed their season where they are looking upwards and onwards rather than a club on the slide.
Despite unpredictability and having made an average start to their domestic and European campaign for their lofty high and tip top expectations and ambitions, Real Madrid of course have several threats of their own. Their star studded line up, who have often failed to meet early season expectations will be looking to win this weekend and put the pressure firmly on Barcelona, who play later on in the day.
The currently jostling among the chasing pack, will see both teams anxious and pumped up for the win. With nothing to separate both clubs asides goal difference in the league, it will likely promise to be close encounter with both teams giving nothing away both on and off the pitch.
Real Madrid v Sevilla kicks off at 15:15 on Saturday 9th December at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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