Sevilla will be looking to turn their fortunes around as they face Alaves in a crucial La Liga clash at Estadio Ramon on Friday night.
With both teams dangerously close to the relegation zone, this match holds significant importance as they strive to secure three vital points.
Sevilla has experienced a tumultuous season, already on their third permanent manager. After Jose Luis Mendilibar and Diego Alonso were relieved of their duties, Quique Sanchez Flores took charge on December 18.
Since then, Sanchez Flores has managed two wins and two defeats, including a recent 2-1 victory over Racing Ferrol that secured Sevilla’s spot in the Copa del Rey last-16 stage.
However, their league form has been disappointing, with consecutive losses to Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao leaving them in 16th place with only one point separating them from the relegation zone.
Alaves, currently sitting one spot above Sevilla in 15th place, have had their fair share of struggles as well. With four wins, five draws, and 10 defeats from 19 matches, they have accumulated 17 points so far.
Scoring goals has been a major issue for the Basque outfit, managing only 15 in the league, the second-worst record behind Cadiz. However, their defense has been relatively solid, conceding only 25 times.
Luis Garcia’s side recently enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Real Betis in the Copa del Rey round of 32 and a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad in their last league match.
These positive results have provided a promising start to 2024 for Alaves. Furthermore, they have an impressive unbeaten record against Sevilla in their last three top-flight encounters, including a thrilling 4-3 win earlier this season.
Sevilla has been plagued by injuries, with several key players ruled out. Nemanja Gudelj, Dodi Lukebakio, Mariano Diaz, and Alfonso Pastor are all unavailable, while Joan Jordan, Marcos Acuna, Jesus Navas, Erik Lamela, and Orjan Nyland remain major doubts.
Additionally, Youssef En-Nesyri will miss the game due to his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations. This opens up opportunities for Rafa Mir and Lucas Ocampos to feature prominently in Sevilla’s attack.
Alaves will be without Jon Guridi and Aleksandar Sedlar due to injury, while Abdel Abqar will join En-Nesyri at the Africa Cup of Nations.
On-loan Atletico Madrid forward Giuliano Simeone has recovered from an ankle injury and is expected to make an impact off the bench.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Juanlu, Bade, Ramos, Salas, Pedrosa;
Sow, Rakitic, Suso;
Gorosabel, Tenaglia, Marin, J Lopez;
Rioja, Benavidez, Rebbach;
Prediction: Sevilla 2-1 Alaves
Considering Sevilla’s disappointing home record and Alaves’ struggles away from home, both teams will be desperate for a victory.
Sevilla has only managed 10 points from 10 home matches, while Alaves has collected a mere four points from their travels.