Sevilla vs Villarreal

March 11, 2016
By: Milos Markovic

Sevilla and Villarreal lock horns on Sunday, fresh from their Europa League challenges that left them in contrasting spirits, and La Liga rivals turn their focus to domestic responsibilities eager to continue their European push.

Sevilla slowing down

Only three wins in their last ten matches will not come as satisfaction to Sevilla fans, who are expecting to see more from their team this late in the campaign. Last year’s Europa League winners were held to a goalless draw at Basel in the first leg of the last-16 tie on Thursday. Sevilla were a better side in what has been an underwhelming affair at St Jakob Park, but were unable to find their way past Basel goalkeeper. In the end, Rojiblancos were forced to settle for a 0-0 after Steven N’Zonzi was sent off for a second yellow three minutes from time. Emery’s men have thus continued their below-par on the road record as Sevilla are without a win in their last seven away games across competitions. On the other side, Rojiblancos have a perfect home record in their last fifteen home matches with every single of those games won and Emery’s men are heading into the duel with Villarreal as favourites to continue the fantastic winning run. They are eight points behind their Sunday rivals in fifth place and a win at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan would come as a timely boost in their Champions League race.

Beto and Pareja are both recovering from their respective injuries, but are far from making a return. Marco Andreolli is struggling with Achilles tendon rupture, while Sevilla’s key man this season Grzegorz Krychowiak is suffering from a knee knock.

Villarreal on European course

The Yellow Submarine look locked on course for the UEFA Champions League as Marcelino’s troops are enjoying a positive run, which saw them lose only once in their last ten matches across all competitions. Villarreal have recorded an important 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday and goals from Cedric Bakambu have earned the Spanish side a valuable lead in the first leg of the Europa League’s last-16 tie with the Bundesliga outfit. Villarreal have also used the midweek game to bounce back from the 1-0 home loss to Las Palmas in the league last time out, and Marcelino’s men will be keen on getting back to winning ways in La Liga as they prepare to make their trip to Seville. Villarreal are currently occupying the fourth place in the table and are sitting in the Champions League qualification spot, six points behind Real Madrid in third. Their main objective is to remain on the European path and an eight-point cushion in front of Sevilla really is a huge advantage, but Marcelino will not allow his players to relax. It is important to mention that Villarreal have drawn their last five matches on the road and will give everything in their power to extend the unbeaten run past the Sunday showdown.

Samuel is struggling with metatarsal fracture and will not be able to feature along with Jonathan dos Santos, who is suffering from Achilles tendon problem. In addition, the visitors will have to do without Roberto Soldado, who is serving his yellow card suspension.


Sevilla are eager to bounce back from their European stalemate and record a win that could help them kick start their push for the Champions League slot, but Villarreal are no pushover and I expect a closely contested fixture. Both teams have been playing low-margin games of late and I do not expect to see many goals on Sunday.

Top pick: Under 2.5 goals    1.8 (4/5) @SportingBet

Alternative pick 1: Draw    3.9 (29/10) @BetVictor

Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No    1.83 (5/6) @Coral

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