Sevilla Eye Champions League Last 16 While Real Madrid Confident Ahead Of Lisbon Clash
Reigning Europa League champions Sevilla will book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League if they are able to take a point when Juventus visit the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Tuesday night.
Jorge Sampaoli’ s side go into the game top of their qualifying group with a two-point lead over the Italians and a six-point advantage over Olympique Lyon, so if Lyon fail to win away to Dinamo Zagreb, that would also see Sevilla through irrespective of their result.
Nevertheless a win for the Spaniards would not only see them qualify from their group, but also put them into the last 16 as group winners to give them the chance of a theoretically easier rival in the next round.
Sevilla can expect a packed house in front of their fans, who are so far delighted with the football displayed under Sampaoli, who has shown a tactical flexibility to allow his players to adapt their style of play in relation to their rivals.
They are currently third in Spain’ s Liga Santander after a 3-2 win away to Deportivo la Coruna on Saturday lunchtime and morale is sky high at the club, where perhaps the only disappointment is that progress in the Champions League means they won’ t be able to defend the Europa League they have won for the last three years.
Madrid are two points behind Borussia Dortmund in their group and need to win in Lisbon or risk finishing second in their group and facing a tougher rival in the knockout stage with the return leg away from home.
The reigning European Champions only beat Sporting Lisbon thanks to two late goals in their first meeting, which should serve as a warning that their rivals have to be taken more seriously than Madrid took Legia Warsaw in the 3-3 draw in Poland before the international break.