Sevilla will attempt to get back on track when they travel to take on relegation contenders Alaves in Spanish Primera play on Sunday.
Group Clubs Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Spain
Key Stat: Four out of the last five matches have seen both teams score.
Expert Verdict: Typically, this tie has produced goals and this one looks set to be another one of those after Sevilla's crazy 3-5 loss last weekend to Real Betis at home. This might not be as high scoring, but there is every chance that both teams will score. Even in their present slump, it is hard to predict a loss for Sevilla, but a draw is far from out of the question.
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Abelardo Fernandez has injuries to left back Hector Hernandez, right back Carlos Vigaray, and attacking midfielder Burgui ahead of this match. Center back Alexis is out due to a suspension, while forward John Guidetti has recently joined on loan from Celta Vigo.
With the loan of John Guidetti from Celta, Alaves have the chance to put together a quick and dynamic attacking four if they play correctly. These players can move fluidly and offer a big threat going forward, but they will have to each hit their marks. Bojan Krkic is one of those men. The on-loan Stoke City attacker has not lived up to his obvious potential, and he will need to do so to help them get out of the drop zone.
Alaves have three wins and two losses in their last five matches:
2-0 home win vs Formentera (Copa del Rey)
2-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao
1-3 win at Formentera (Copa del Rey)
1-0 home win vs Malaga
1-0 loss at Atletico Madrid
Defenders:Martin Padilla, Maripan, Laguardia, Duarte
Defensive Midfielders:Pina, Garcia
Attacking Midfielders:Bojan, Munir, Pedraza
Vincenzo Montella is missing center backs Nico Pareja and Daniel Carrico due to injuries.
After the harsh departure of former manager Eduardo Berizzo came a couple of weeks ago, a certain midfield man has gotten a second chance of sorts to get back in. Once frozen out and thought to be on the move to England, Steven N'Zonzi now appears to have become a favorite under the new management. And it's easy to see why. The Frenchman marries hard tackling with skill on the ball, and he's just the man in the middle that can bring calmness to the team in their search for better results.
Sevilla have two wins, two losses, and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Cadiz (Copa del Rey)
3-5 home loss vs Real Betis
0-2 win at Cadiz (Copa del Rey)
3-1 loss at Real Sociedad
0-0 home draw vs Levante
Defenders:Mercado, Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero
Midfielders:Banega, N'Zonzi, Vazquez
Forwards:Navas, Nolito, Ben Yedder
Alaves and Sevilla have met just 12 times so far. Sevilla have won half of those matches, drawn three, and lost the other three. They have played twice since Alaves got promoted for last season. At Alaves, they drew 1-1 in March and Sevilla won 2-1 at home back in October of 2016.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Alaves are at 9/4 to win, a draw is at 9/4, and a Sevilla win is at 13/10.
Alaves begin the weekend down in 18th and in the first relegation place. They have 15 points, which puts them four above the two sides below them and are just a point back of Deportivo La Coruna ahead of them, but will still know they must get going before it's too late for them. They actually have won three of their last five, but they have lost two of their last three matches. Sevilla have struggled recently, and they have continued with that after changing managers. They are still in fifth, at least for the moment, and in the final automatic European place, but that could soon change with surging Villarreal and Eibar behind them.
At home, Alaves have taken only nine measly points from nine matches so far. Those each came from wins, and they will be encouraged by the fact that they won their last two there and have won three of the last four. They have only scored seven home goals, though, so that is a real concern. Sevilla's biggest letdown this season has been their away form. They have just nine points in nine matches, and in actually the same exact record that Alaves have. They have even scored the same number of goals as Alaves have at home: seven. They have three points from the last five away matches and have lost four of those five.
Both teams to score, via Ladbrokes, is at ¾.
Sevilla should not be having issues beating teams like Alaves, but the truth of the matter is that they are having serious issues right now. That could cost them even more points and see them slip behind those chasing the European places with them.