Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Sevilla – 2021/22

By: Mohammed Sahel

Things only get more arduous for Real Madrid from here on. Playing the likes of Sevilla, Athletic Club, Inter, Sociedad and Atlético Madrid individually with adequate gaps in between wouldn’t have been a herculean task for the Merengues as such. Now, however, this wave of fixtures comes at them all at once. 

With the way Carlo Ancelotti’s team have done as of late, though, makes one think that they are most definitely capable of coming out of the next month at least as well as they went into it. A familiar face with indistinct memories of the past returns, in Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui. 

What to Expect: 

Sevilla play some of the most meticulous and calculated football in the league. Lopetegui has deployed the 4-2-3-1 system as of late. Los Nervionenses play with two deeper midfield players, two wide midfielders who start out wide and cut in, accompanied by full backs who operate up and down the flanks. 

Without a doubt, positional consistency is something great teams at the highest level maintain with flexible systems and intensive training methods, Sevilla are no exception. While it isn’t to say that their style is repetitive and boring, Sevilla play some of the most predictable football in the league. 

Predictable or not, they are one hell of a force to reckon with. They average some of the best possession stats in the league only second to Football Club Barcelona and score just under 1.7 times per game, a distance away from our 2.46 which is obviously the most. Lateral movement or verticality in the final third has never seemed to be a problem for our opponents in these past two seasons. 

They play with a high line and expect to have more of the ball than their opponents, even Real Madrid from one of last season’s meetings will tell you (Madrid won with just 37% possession at the Sanchez Pizjuan). Real Madrid’s offensive threat at the moment is intimidating for any team that comes up against them. Goals have been coming from both sides of the pitch, and even the midfield players have started to contribute to the scoresheet even with Karim Benzema not enjoying his best run.

It might end up a fairly well contested game but it is one that Real Madrid will want to win, because the fixtures that follow are crucial in shaping how the season ahead pans out. If they do however dominate from the off, it wouldn’t be wise to sit off or to aggress more than what is required, maintaining equilibrium is crucial to finding a way past them. 

Ancelotti will, as ever, pick his best available eleven and hope to take the game to Julen Lopetegui’s team. But none will be Conservative tonight.

Team News: 

Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos all remain out indefinitely. Federico Valverde is back in the squad but is unlikely to be risked tonight especially with Kroos and Modrić in fine form. David Alaba steered the defence during the midweek thrashing of Sheriff Tiraspol, but is a doubt. Although reports confirm that his knee is in an acceptable condition, Ancelotti again is unlikely to risk playing the Austrian. 

Suso and Erik Lamela are two of Lopetegui’s preferred choices on the right. Both missing tonight will mean that Lucas Ocampos might be asked to play there. Centre forward Youssef En Neseyri and veteran defender Jesus Navas are both ruled out too. The visitors come into this game with a fairly poor injury record to their name, one they hope won’t affect tonight’s result. 

Expected Line-ups: 

Real Madrid: 


Carvajal — Militão — Nacho — Mendy 

Modrić — Casemiro — Kroos 

Asensio — Benzema — Vini Jr. 



Montiel — Koundé — Carlos — Acuña 

Jordán — Fernando — Rakitić 

Ocampos — Mir — Gómez 

Player to Watch: 

Real Madrid: Vinícius Júnior. With Sevilla likely to have a considerable percentage of possession, counter-attacking may be Madrid’s best hope at finding a way beyond Kounde and Carlos. Vini will face Gonzalo Montiel tonight, the Argentine is a natural born winner and a tough tackler but doesn’t possess the same sort of dominance as Jesus Navas down that right flank. Having Vini run into the space down the left may be what breaks Sevilla apart, as it did in the away game last season. 

Sevilla: Fernando. None of Julen Lopetegui’s natural goalscorers have justified their presence this season. Lamela and En Neseyri remain injured, while none of Papu Gomez, Rafa Mir or Lucas Ocampos are consistent goalscorers. It sure is a factor that demotivates the Andalusians. Without goals, defending in transition is what possession-based outfits mostly look to master. It takes quite some context to understand the Brazilian’s game. 

He is, afterall, a conventional destroyer like a certain Casemiro. His presence let’s the two players in their midfield move forward and also shields Kounde and Carlos, often buys them some time or saves them the effort of having to come out to deal with uncomfortable situations. Fernando might not come across as the most brilliant or flashy player in that Sevilla lineup, but he’s a silent warrior. A workhorse with remarkable determination.


Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla. 

Predicting a Madrid win by the slightest of margins seems to be a cliché thing with me, but I really do mean it here. Sevilla make any team work for the ball, but Los Blancos should be able to win tonight.

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