Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla will look to end Atletico Madrid’s undefeated streak this season, when they host Los Rojiblancos at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium on Sunday.
It’s a clash between 2nd and 4th place in Seville tonight as both sides will look to come out of this match with all three points and keep pressure on the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sevilla have the unfortunate task of trying to inflict a first loss of the season on a confident Atletico side who will be desperate to regain the top spot in La Liga after losing it to Barcelona last night.
Sampaoli’s men will line up in their usual 4-3-3 formation which has served them so well this season. Though a victory is what they’ll be set up for, it will be crucial that they don’t lose in front of their home fans. Sevilla have conceded 12 goals this season, more than any other team currently in the top 4 of the Spanish top flight.
Adil Rami will return, bringing the Sevilla defence back to full strength. This will be key to not conceding to Atletico’s well drilled attack comprising of world class talents like Yannick Carrasco, Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro. Some of the key battles in this match will be fought between Atletico’s attack and Sevilla’s defence so Sampaoli will be grateful to have a full strength defence to deal with the creativity and quality of Atletico’s attack.
Vincente Iborra, Steven N’Zonzi and Franco Vazquez will make up Sevilla’s midfield and arguably the most important battle of the game will be fought in the middle of the park. Sevilla’s high pressing and robust style of play will be up against a well drilled machine that is the Atletico midfield. Winning back and retaining as much possession as they can in midfield will be crucial to Sevilla’s chances of victory. Samir Nasri and Vitolo will be on either flank of striker Luciano Vietto, who is expected to lead the line for Sampaoli’s men and they will be up against arguably the best defence in all of world football today.
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): Rico; Escudero, Rami, Pareja, Mariano; Iborra, N’Zonzi, Vazquez; Vitolo, Vietto, Nasri
Giminez is still doubtful for the match, so that would mean an unchanged backline comprising of Juanfran, Godin, Savic and Luis. Atletico are expected to line up in their usual 4-4-2/4-3-3 formation with a full strength squad at their disposal. Despite the attacking threat posed by a revitalised Samir Nasri, summer signing Luciano Vietto and Vitolo, Atletico have enough quality in their defensive ranks to be able to nullify the threat of Sevilla’s attack.
Koke, Saul Niguez, Gabi and Yannick Carrasco will line up in an unchanged midfield. For most of the game, they will be faced with N’Zonzi & co. hounding them for possession with their intense and direct style of play. Atletico will likely sit back for large periods of the game and keep absorbing the pressure of the Sevilla onslaught before catching them out on the counter or capitalising on a mistake in midfield.
Kevin Gameiro goes back to the stadium where he first established himself as one of the best strikers in the Spanish League, before moving the Atletico in the summer. Simeone will be hoping that the 29-year-old’s experience with the Sevilla defence will better enable him to lead the line alongside star striker Antoine Griezmann. The French duo have scored a combined total of 9 goals and provided 5 assists between them this season.
- Atletico Madrid are undefeated in the La Liga this season.
- Sevilla have not beaten Atletico Madrid in the their last 13 clashes.
- Atletico Madrid haven’t conceded a goal against Sevilla in their last 4 matches.
- Sevilla have kept a clean sheet in only 1 of their last 6 La Liga matches.
Player To Watch
Sevilla: Samir Nasri
The Frenchman is currently enjoying life on loan in Seville. Nasri, under the watchful eyes of Jorge Sampaoli, has managed to establish himself in the Sevilla first team, becoming a key player for the Andalusians in the process. He currently averages 1.6 dribbles per game and 1.4 tackles per game, showing his willingness to track back and defend.
Atletico Madrid: Yannick Carrasco
Carrasco has scored 4 goals and registered 2 assists in his last two games, against Granada and FC Rostov, and will look to continue his good run of form against more quality opposition. The 23-year-old has had a slow start to the season, but he has slowly begun to find some form after his winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage tie in September. The Belgian international will be high on confidence and Sevilla will be wary of the threat that Carrasco poses.
Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Both sides are coming off of tricky Champions League ties, with Atletico returning from Russia after a 0-1 victory against FC Rostov and Sevilla returning from Croatia after a victory against Dinamo Zagreb. Despite the issue of fatigue, both Simeone and Sampaoli will set up their teams to hit the ground running. Sevilla, won’t take any prisoners and will settle for nothing less than a victory in front of their fans. However, both sides are currently in great form and their similar high intensity styles of play ensure that there are no favourites going into this tie.