High-flying Sevilla will be looking to cement their place in La Liga top 4 when they host Malaga on Sunday, and put extra pressure on their rivals for Champions League positions. Los Boquerones, on the other hand, hope to remain in contention for Europa League places, but they clearly face an uphill task at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Sevilla on fire
Sevilla have been thoroughly impressive under Unai Emery and they aim to make this season one of the most successful in recent years. Big strength in depth has allowed the Europa League holders to be successful in all the competitions entered and the best thing is that los Rojiblancos are showing no signs of slowing down. Sevilla eased off to the next stage in Europa League, where they will face Borussia M’gladbach, whilst four comfortable wins in Copa del Rey saw them earn a quarter-final clash against Espanyol. However, the most important thing is that los Rojiblancos continue to impress in La Liga, where they currently sit in fourth position, with a game in hand on all top 4 rivals. Unai Emery’s charges have been absolutely brilliant of late, winning eight of last nine matches on all fronts and no doubt they should be regarded strong favourites to extend the great run against Malaga. Sevilla not only hammered Granada 4-0 in midweek, but they did so without their key footballers.
With Kevin Gameiro in excellent form, Unai Emery may decide to play with two strikers against Malaga, but Nico Pareja is banned and Sebastian Cristoforo is out injured.
Malaga exceeding expectations
These past couple of years have been very difficult for the club seeing as how major budget cuts meant that they were no longer able to keep hold of their star players or replace them with expensive footballers. But, even with so many quality footballers leaving La Rosaleda in recent years, Malaga have somehow managed to keep their results respectable, although it remains to be seen if they can continue the rich vein of form for much longer. Los Boquerones qualified for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals by eliminating Deportivo La Coruna and Levante, although coach Javi Gracia must have been disappointed to see his side squander a two-goal lead in the second leg against Levante and lose 3-2 even if they ultimately went through. Malaga have been performing above all expectations in Spanish La Liga, climbing to seventh in the standings, but the question remains whether they can match the best sides in the league. Having said that, this is definitely not the right time to be facing red-hot Sevilla.
The lengthy injury list still includes important players Ignacio Camacho, Weligton, Sergio Sanchez, Flavio and Roberto Chen.
Sevilla are clearly on top of their game at the moment and showing a great deal of consistency, so they can certainly be trusted to extend the impressive run. Meanwhile, Malaga have been showing signs of weakness of late and with several important footballers missing, I cannot see them getting anything from Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Top pick: Home win 1.80 (4/5) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Sevilla/Sevilla 2.70 (17/10) @ TitanBet
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.91 (10/11) @ William Hill