LaLiga Matchweek 12 preview: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid (16:15h. CET) - Team news, lineups

Real Madrid will attempt to bounce back from successive defeats when they travel to Andalusia to face Sevilla in Spain's top flight on Saturday afternoon.

Zinedine Zidane's side - currently fourth in La Liga - have lost their last two matches to Alaves and Shakhtar Donetsk, while fifth-placed Sevilla will also enter the game off the back of a disappointing result, having suffered a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League.

Sevilla had been in excellent form ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Chelsea, recording five straight wins in all competitions, with the run seeing them rise up the La Liga table and book their spot in the knockout round of the European Cup.

Julen Lopetegui's side were brought crashing back down to earth by the Blues, though, with Olivier Giroudscoring all four goals in a thumping win for Frank Lampard's side.

The Europa League winners have won their last three in the league, though, and appear to have recovered from a disappointing run which saw them lose three straight matches between October 17 and October 31.

Five wins, one draw and three defeats - that is how Sevilla have performed in the league this season, picking up 16 points to occupy fifth position, one point behind Madrid with a game in hand.

The hosts will be aiming to pile more misery on Los Blancos, but they have lost each of their last three La Liga games with the capital giants, including a 1-0 defeat in the corresponding match in 2019-20.

Zidane is certainly under pressure at the Bernabeu, with back-to-back losses to Alaves and Shakhtar in the league and Champions League respectively leading to more questions on the Frenchman's future.

Los Blancos are in serious danger of missing out on a spot in the knockout round of the European Cup, while they have picked up just one point from their last three matches in Spain's top flight.

Worryingly, the reigning champions have been beaten in three of their last six in La Liga, suffering defeats to Valencia and Alaves in two of their last three, which has seen them drop off the pace.

Madrid's position in the table is not catastrophic as they are only seven points off leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand, but they trail second-placed Atletico Madrid by six points and have played one match more than Diego Simeone's side, who are regarded by many as this season's favourites.

The Whites will be eyeing their sixth league victory of the campaign on Saturday, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of the contest when it comes to Zidane's future.

Sevilla La Liga form: LLLWWW
Sevilla form (all competitions): WWWWWL

Real Madrid La Liga form: LWWLDL
Real Madrid form (all competitions): WLDWLL

Team News

Sevilla boss Lopetegui rang the changes for the clash with Chelsea, but there will be a more familiar look to the home side's XI on Saturday, with potentially only four players retaining their spots.

Jules Kounde, Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Munir El Haddadi, Fernando and Luuk de Jong will be among those to return, and there should be a switch back to a 4-3-3 formation.

Tomas Vaclik should overcome a knee issue to feature between the sticks, but the home side will be without Sergio Escudero, Marcos Acuna and Suso through injury.

Lopetegui is also unlikely to be able to call upon either Carlos Fernandez or Yassine Bounou, with the pair recently testing positive for coronavirus.

As for Madrid, Eden Hazard and Federico Valverde are definitely out of the contest, while neither Dani Carvajal nor Sergio Ramos is expected to be involved despite both recently stepping up their injury recoveries.

Alvaro Odriozola could make the squad, though, having overcome a calf problem, while Luka Jovic has tested negative for coronavirus and is now free to return for the Spanish champions.

Zidane is expected to make changes from the side that started against Shakhtar, with holding midfielder Casemiro likely to replace Martin Odegaard.

Karim Benzema will again lead the line, but Vinicius Junior is pushing to be involved on the left, meaning that Marco Asensio could switch to the right, with Rodrygo Goes dropping out of the XI.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Rekik; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, De Jong, El Haddadi

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio

Source: Sports Mole / Matt Law 



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