5th of January 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
There will be a major clash in LaLiga at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville on Sunday as second-placed Real Madrid visit third-placed Sevilla. Last season this fixture was a very spectacular one and Atletico Madrid won it 5-2 thanks to a hat-trick from French forward Antoine Griezmann. Atletico also won the reverse fixture in LaLiga 2-0, but Sevilla got revenge in the Spanish Cup by winning 2-1 in Madrid and 3-1 in Seville. The record of the last six direct meetings is perfectly even, with three victories apiece. Four of the last five matches had three or more goals in them.
Sevilla are having one of the best seasons in recent years, they look capable of finishing on the podium in LaLiga for the first time since 2009. They are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, they qualified for the first knockout round of the UEFA Europa League and also advanced to the last sixteen in the Spanish Cup. Their latest result was a 1-1 draw at Leganes before Christmas, and they only grabbed that point thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Wissam Ben Yedder. Gabriel Mercado and Franco Vazquez are suspended for this match, while Maxime Gonalons is injured. Jesus Navas and Simon Kjaer have recently recovered from injuries and both might be able to play.
Atletico Madrid are hoping to push for the title in LaLiga this season, leaders Barcelona are just three points ahead of them while rivals Real Madrid are four points behind. Atletico have lost just one league match this season, less than any other team in LaLiga, but they have recorded no less than 7 draws in 17 matches. They are on a thirteen-match unbeaten streak in all competitions and they have qualified for the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League along with the last sixteen round in Copa del Rey. Diego Costa and Filipe Luis are injured and won't be in the squad for this match, while Lucas Hernandez and Jose Gimenez might also miss out.
Sevilla: Vaclik - Carrico, Kjaer, Gomez - Navas, Banega, Mesa, Escudero - Sarabia - Ben Yedder, A. Silva
Atletico: Oblak - Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Niguez - Koke, Rodrigo, Partey, Lemar - Correa, Griezmann
My prediction: 1-1 draw, Sevilla are very tough to beat at home this season.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Sevilla win - 2.80
Draw - 3.10
Atletico win - 2.70
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That's been a quite close tie and probably both teams should be happy enough with the point in the end.
Atletico not owing Barcelona and Real financial power but Simeone doing great for years there being among the top teams in Spain every season, and in fact if they manage to turn draws into a wins till the end I believe they could be a real title contender again despite that most think that Barcelona are invincible.
Sevilla having a great season themselves so far and obviously the priority for them would be to keep that 4th spot that they are at right now...looks like an achievable goal anyway.
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