In an arithmetically flawless season, Sevilla is going to stay in the almost. He almost won the European Super Cup to Bayern (fell in extra time), almost got into the quarterfinals of the Champions against Borussia Dortmund (he lacked a goal to extend the fight), he almost entered the final of Cup against Barça (he also succumbed in extra time), he almost fought for the League (he could finish on Monday four points behind Atlético and one from Madrid and Barça). In the end everything hit the stick, but still remains the minor consolation of seeking a place in the next Super Cup, which leaves money and prestige. For Madrid, on the other hand, the game is an irrefutable opportunity: repeating the title depends on itself, an unexpected event after its recent draws against Getafe and Betis (follow the game live on AS.com).
Until Athletic arrived and took him out of the League with a goal from Williams, Sevilla chained nine games undefeated and had added 22 of the 24 points previous in play. He had already chained nine consecutive victories between the League and the Cup that installed him in the Champions zone, from which he has not dropped since December. In fact, only Barça has scored more points in 2021. Lopetegui has given regularity in the heights to a team built from the beginning Monchi wit, able to see what is happening to others. And out there put whoever they want: Koundé, Diego Carlos, Fernando (LaLiga's best player in April), Jordán, En Nesyri, Ocampos… They have all multiplied their value and all pose a greater threat to Madrid. In a way, Seville and Madrid can be recognized face to face. Lopetegui has built a better armed team behind than in front. More out of necessity than vocation. Alone In Nesyri, with 23 goals in the course, it has been a scoring solution. De Jong has traveled very far and to get high he has protected himself extraordinarily well.
A gala eleven and a box eleven
Alone Athletic Y Madrid they have fitted less goals. Yet it has been shown a dominant team (60% possession, only after Barça) and well worked (no one concedes fewer goals from set pieces). On Friday the staff received a visit from the president, Pepe Castro, and Monchi as a stimulus for the last objective, the Super Cup, that it will reach if it is at least third as long as Barça does not finish fourth.
Lopetegui He does not have casualties for the game (he will play the gala eleven) and the Madrid, with 48 hours less rest, does not recover anyone and lose Ramos, with a tendinosis, and to Mendy. The London game was the captain's first in a month and a half and is now back in the worst year of his career. Although with more rhythm than Wednesday, it is still out of point Valverde after five stoppage matches. Even so, He could be a starter to oxygenate some of the midfielders. Modric's beating is huge: 53 games at the age of 35. And Kroos is not far behind (46 games with 31). The injuries of the rest have forced them to overexert themselves that is beginning to weigh on them.
And then there is the case Hazard. Their 89 minutes without substance in London were the roof of the Belgian since November 2019 and his good humor after the game, which even demanded a public apology, the last reason for the fans and the club to start throwing in the towel. With everything, It is not ruled out that Zidane insist on him, although at this time already is convinced that he is not (and may never be) the player he insisted so much about to the president. And it is that the lack of goal forces to try everything. Of the eight games of the course in which Madrid left without scoring, half have taken place in the last month. In fact, from April 6, no striker the team has annotated to exception of Benzema. And behind the situation is not better. Two healthy centrals and two healthy laterals remain.
In any case, the closeness of the title that Barça has once again shot him with his defeat in Granada and his draw against Atlético compensates more than enough the Madrid fatigue. That at least is handled in the locker room. And the background helps optimism. Lopetegui (who, due to sanction, will not be able to direct the team) he has lost in the three games in which he has faced Madrid, all with Zidane on the rival bench. And Sevilla have thirteen consecutive defeats as a visitor against the white team, their worst streak in history. Today it will premiere in Valdebebas and although the audience will be absent, the theory of stage fright is credible.