Soccer: Spanish La Liga

Sevilla v Real Madrid – Saturday 17th December – Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán (23:00)

Sevilla v Real Madrid

The mighty Barcelona proved once again why they are the champions of Spain. Barcelona outclassed Real Madrid to move top of the La Liga standings however Mourinho’s men have a game in hand and will face another team who suffered a disappointing defeat over the weekend. Sevilla were beaten 1-0 by Levante who are now 5 points above them in the crucial 4th place Champions League spot.

Sevilla occupy 5th spot after failing to improve their poor away record of 1 win, 5 draws and 1 loss in 6 matches. They finished in the same position last season falling short of the Champions League spot to Villarreal and they will be aiming to improve on that 5th place finish this season. They have the 2nd best defensive record in the league behind Barcelona having conceded just 11 goals in their 16 matches. Their main problem this season has been the inconsistency of their attacking players and their ability to perform without key players. They have two proven goalscorers in Alvaro Negredo and Mali International Frederic Kanoute who with the right supply can be lethal. Negredo netted 20 times for Sevilla last season and has only scored 4 goals this season. Sevilla will be boosted by home ground advantage in front of their magnificent home crowd where they have been excellent this season. They have struggled for goals on the road scoring only 3 in 7 matches but have had no problem getting goals at home. Sevilla managed to hold Barcelona at the Camp Nou to a 0-0 draw. Playing at home their approach won’t be as defensive but they are still capable of holding the talented Madrid attack at bay for 90 minutes.

Real, who now trail Barca on goal difference, still have a game in hand, but the loss in the El Clasico brought to an end a 15-match winning streak for Jose Mourinho’s side. The Clasico defeat has raised doubts over Madrid’s chances of knocking Barca off their throne. The result was a disappointing one however it was not a make-or-break game as Real could go 3 points clear if they return to their winning form in this encounter. The great Cristiano Ronaldo once again failed to produce the form he is known for when coming up against the intimidating Barcelona. He should be back at his best here, terrorising the Sevilla defence. Real Madrid have been lethal this season and their away form has been impressive conceding just 3 goals in 8 matches and scoring 21.

This fixture last season ended in a 6-2 win for Madrid and they are tipped to make a swift return to winning ways here.

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