What: Spanish La Liga
Who: Real Madrid vs Sevilla
When: Sunday 29th April, 2012, at 11:00 UK time
Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

League Focus

Real Madrid welcome ninth-placed Sevilla for this La Liga clash in the hope of making amends with their fans after a Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. Having come back from Catalonia with a 2-1 win over Barcelona last weekend, Los Blancos find themselves seven points ahead of the Camp Nou outfit. At this stage, the league is all but in the trophy cabinet.

In Europe in midweek, Real Madrid were 2-0 up after fifteen minutes, before Arjen Robben scored the goal that would eventually send the tie into extra-time and penalties. With Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos all missing their spot kicks, Los Blancos missed out on the chance to reach the Champions League final next month.

After the game, centre-back Pepe urged his team to focus on their remaining league games and forget about the lost chance of a tenth European Cup.

“We have to take three points against Sevilla and we must only think about La Liga now”, said the Portugal international. “We have a very young and quality team. We’ll try again next year and I hope luck is on our side then.”

Out for the Win

While Real Madrid are in the hunt for a 32nd league accolade, Sevilla are fighting for a place in next season’s Europa League. Knowing that their weekend opponents hold approximately double their points tally, Michel’s side will certainly not be shy away from home, occupying as they do a no lose position. However, given Real Madrid’s closeness to the title, beating will be a task and a half.

Sevilla’s numbers away from home have hardly been impressive, winning just four games on the road – against Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Racing Santander and Granada, most of which are bottom half teams. However, club president Jose del Nido believes that since the two Spanish giants stuttered in the Champions League against all odds, then his team hold a fighting chance at the Bernabeu.

“A poor Chelsea eliminated Barca, so why can’t Sevilla win at the Bernabeu? We face the best team in Spain but we’ll go for the win knowing how difficult it is", explained the Sevilla supremo.

Having lost the corresponding fixture 6-2 in Andalucia, it would be a great surprise should Los Rojiblancos manage to overcome the odds here – but in football anything is possible. 

Recent form

Real Madrid:
Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid (17/04; Champions League)
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid (21/04; La Liga)
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (25/04; Champions League)


Sevilla 3-0 Real Zaragoza (12/04; La Liga)
Getafe 5-1 Sevilla (16/04; La Liga)
Sevilla 1-1 Levante  (21/04; La Liga)

Key absences

Real Madrid: Ricardo Carvalho

Sevilla: Frederic Kanoute; Diego Perotti

Players to watch

Real Madrid – Sergio Ramos: The Andalucian tarnished a near-perfect season with a horribly-taken penalty against Bayern Munich, one that would go on to deny his side the chance of a comeback. Ramos will need to make peace with the Bernabeu faithful, starting by putting on a world class display against his former side.

Sevilla – Jesus Navas: The winger is desperate to make Spain’s Euro 2012 squad and is well aware that a good showing at the Bernabeu would boost his cause. Navas is capable of testing Real Madrid’s defence and Sevilla need him to do just that.

Match Prediction

Real Madrid will be ruing their continental luck as their hopes for La Decima are postponed for another term. However, their league business is not yet over, and against Sevilla, Jose Mourinho’s men should get closer to the trophy. Expect a comfortable 3-0 win for the home side.

Can another step towards determining La Liga’s champions be taken in Real Madrid v Sevilla? Who do you think will win? Make sure you visit OLBG for tips and to compare the current odds and betting markets available at all the important bookmakers.