What: Spanish La Liga
Who: Sevilla vs Real Madrid
When: Saturday 15th September, 2012, at 21:00 UK time
Where: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain

In Need of a Win

The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville will host the clash between local club Sevilla and Real Madrid in what is surely the pick of the weekend’s La Liga action. Having tasted victory on a single occasion so far this season, the locals will hope to pick up the pace against the reigning league champions. However, as Real Madrid appear to have found their groove recently, Sevilla are in for a hard task.

The home side have been without a win for their last two La Liga games, drawing against Granada and Rayo Vallecano. Arresting that here will be tough. Danger can come from anywhere in the Real Madrid ranks, though Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic believes new signing Luka Modric is a particular danger man.

“He has the quality to play in any team, including Real Madrid”, declared the Croat. “He is one of the best players I have ever seen.”

Meanwhile, controversial Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido is convinced that his side can upset the visitors on the night, believing that the gulf in class that was witnessed between the two teams over the past two seasons has not surfaced so far. And with a hostile stadium, Del Nido will be hoping for full fan support.

Changing Winds

It seems as if the arrival of Luka Modric sparked a much-needed change in Real Madrid’s attitude, inspiring the Whites to claim the Spanish Super Cup after a first leg defeat against Barcelona and granting a first win of the season against Granada after two unsuccessful attempts at gaining all three points in the league.

But whatever jovial mood Real Madrid were enjoying soon came to a halt as Cristiano Ronaldo refused to celebrate any of the goals he scored against Granada in the team’s last league game, sparking controversy. However, rumours have been put to rest by the player after he committed his future to the club.

“I would like to reaffirm, without being concerned about contractual issues that my focus is solely on winning every game and every trophy available with Real Madrid. And all of this with the help of my team-mates and all Madridistas”, he said.

Knowing that the team will face a tough trip to Seville, winger Jose Maria Callejon has nonetheless backed Real Madrid to win away from home. “We know that whenever we go to Seville, it’s going to be difficult. This is because of the team and their great players who always put us in a tricky situation. But I’m always saying it, we are Real Madrid and we have to go to whatever lengths to win because it’s our objective.”

Recent form

Sevilla 2-1 Getafe (18/08; La Liga)
Granada 1-1 Sevilla (26/08; La Liga)
Rayo Vallecano 0-0 Sevilla (02/09; La Liga)

Real Madrid:
Getafe 2-1 Real Madrid (26/08; La Liga)
Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona (29/08; Super Cup)
Real Madrid 3-0 Granada (02/09; La Liga)

Key absences


Real Madrid: Fabio Coentrao (suspended)

Players to watch

Sevilla – Alvaro Negredo: The former Real Madrid man saw his stock rise this summer after being named for his first major tournament as Spain conquered Euro 2012. Starting another season with the Rojiblancos, Negredo will have a personal battle with his old companions as Real Madrid hope to keep a second clean sheet.

Real Madrid – Luka Modric: The pass-master has so far been employed in Mesut Ozil’s attacking midfield berth and not in the centre of the pitch as he was accustomed to at Tottenham Hotspur. However, it is clear that Jose Mourinho will play Modric in different positions. Against Sevilla, he has another chance to impress.

Match Prediction

The match between the two sides will be difficult for the home team, as Real Madrid appear to have improved their form recently and have put their Cristiano Ronaldo problems to rest. Los Merengues will want to carry on where they left off before the international break and should get their second win of the season. Sevilla 1-2 Real Madrid.

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