Sevilla will be looking to close the gap with Real Madrid at the top of the table to within one point, when they host La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán later today. Real Madrid are clear favorites in this match and they might have a slight physiological advantage as they managed to come from 3 goals down to draw 3-3 against Sevilla on Thursday in the Copa del Rey.
Real Madrid will continue to be without their Welsh star Gareth Bale who is still recovering from an ankle injury and is set to get back in action by March. They will also be without their key defender Pepe, Isco and James Rodriguez for this match. A big boost for Real Madrid is that they will welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo who was rested for their Copa del Rey match against Sevilla on Thursday.
Despite being tagged as favourites to win this match, Zidane feels Real Madrid will face a tough time against Sevilla and stated that Sevilla's ability to allow teams less time on the ball will be a key factor this match.
"Sevilla think the same - they want to play a great game and that's what we all want to see. It's first against second. They'll make it difficult, like they did the other day. It'll be tough. They want to win the game. We're ready for it and we'll see what happens.
Having possession is the idea but Sevilla will make it difficult. We've prepared for the game, how we're going to play, and we'll see what happens. The important thing is to show desire, with personality," Goal.com quoted the Real Madrid manager as saying.
Sevilla also have a few players coming back for this match. Midfielders Steven N'Zonzi and Franco Vazquez will be back for this match after they too missed their mid-week Copa del Rey match. Samir Nasri who has been a key figure for Sevilla this season might face some criticism from the home crowd after he said in a recent interview that he would like to play under Zidane at Real Madrid.
Wissam Ben Yedder who has been a among the goal for Sevilla a lot this season will lead the line and along with him their new signing Stevan Jovetic who scored in their 3-3 draw will be another important player for them as they look to put an end to Real Madrid's unbeaten run.
Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli has stated that his team will be treating this match as if it were a final saying that they need to win this match if they are to have any chance of challenging for the La Liga title.
"For us, Sunday's match is a final. We have to cut the gap [between Sevilla and Real Madrid].This match is one in which we can say 'we're here and we're going to fight for the La Liga title. If we win then we'd move to within one point of the leader, which seemed impossible for everyone".
"We'll try to go for it, but we have an opponent in front of us that is in the middle of a great run and one Real Madrid goal would make the possibility [of a comeback] even less likely. We are going to get ourselves excited about playing a great game against a great opponent. I hope we can give the fans what they will be coming for" Marca.com quoted the Sevilla manager as saying.
Where to watch
The La Liga match between Sevilla and Real Madrid is set to start at 7:45pm local time (1:15am IST, 2:45pm EST)
India: TV: Sony Six/ Sony Six HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv
Spain: Canal+ Partidazo
UK: TV: Sky Sports1/HD. Live Streaming: Sky Sports Go
US: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect
Singapore: beIN Sports HD Singapore