La Liga: Real Madrid vs Sevilla
In terms of points, there is nothing to choose between Real Madrid and Sevilla heading into this one. They both have 28 on the board from 14 matches and they will also both be taking their place in the last sixteen of the Champions League, although only as runners up. Defensively though both teams have genuine cracks which can be exploited and this promises to be a lively game with plenty of goals.
Real Madrid have some major defensive selection headaches here after a physical game in the Basque Country last weekend which saw Sergio Ramos see red. With Dani Carvajal and Casemiro also suspended, the last thing Zinedine Zidane needed was for Raphael Varane to pick up an injury against Dortmund in midweek. All four will now miss this game and Sevilla will really fancy they can exploit that.
Even with their full quota, Real Madrid have been leaking goals at home this season. They’ve conceded twice in all of their last three home matches, however they still managed to secure 3-2 wins in two of those games and will be relieved to see Cristiano Ronaldo getting back in amongst the goals in recent weeks, following an unconvincing start to the season in front of goal. The Portuguese star has scored more goals against Sevilla than any other team in La Liga.
Sevilla are in good form with 7 wins and just 1 defeat from their last 10 matches in all competitions. That solitary defeat was a narrow 2-1 loss at Barcelona so they will have reason to think they can really match Real Madrid for long portions of this game, even if they don’t normally enjoy their trips to the Bernabeu.
They bought some good players in the summer but it has taken some time for the team to gel. However they’ve looked more fluid going forward in recent matches and have netted twice or more in 8 of their last 10 games. including 3 goals in tough games against Liverpool and Villarreal. That suggests they will cause problems for an under-strength Real Madrid but Sevilla have let in 1.5 goals per game away this term in La Liga and both teams have scored in 7 of their last 9 games.
Sevilla regularly upset the big clubs at home but their record away to the big guns is actually very poor and over 90 minutes this should still go the way of Los Blancos, so backing Real Madrid & Both Teams to Score also looks a decent punt.