Segio ramos, zidane, lopetegui,

PREVIEW: REAL MADRID VS SEVILLA, THE RACE FOR THE TITLE HEATS UP AS AN AGGRIEVED SEVILLA VISIT A WOUNDED REAL MADRID

REAL MADRID VS

Real Madrid host Sevilla on Sunday night in a crunch match in the race for the La Liga title with both sides still in the hunt for the title but neither of them the favourite.

Zinedine Zidane’s men were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by Chelsea, where they were well below their true pace over both the legs. The Frenchman has had a nightmarish season in terms of injury to his players with 58 injuries so far, and were it not for some of the old heads in this Los Blancos team, they would not have found themselves level on points with Barcelona.

 

 

Lack of goals have been a real problem for this side as they have drawn four out of their last 10 matches with a total of two goals scored in those four. has remained world class throughout but it’s evident that he will need help if Madrid are to cross the finish line as champions.

Sevilla, meanwhile, were left heartbroken at the end of last week when Inaki Williams’ injury-time winner turned a draw into a very damaging loss to Athletic Bilbao. The Andalusian side sit 4th on the table, trailing Atletico Madrid by six points with four matches remaining. All of which sounds deflating as it is, before you take into account that they have failed to take a single point off Real Madrid over their last four meetings.

 

 

But they come into this fixture in good form having won seven of their last 10, including a 1-0 win over the current leaders. If Sevilla can manage to upset the history books on Sunday night, the title race will get even tighter down the final stretch. If they lose, they will be out of the title picture.

Julien Lopetegui will need all the tactical nous he can muster if he is to outwit his former side as Zidane looks to salvage his own season by repeating last season’s heroics.

 

TEAM NEWS

Real Madrid are without key defenders Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane and Lucas Vasquez, further weakening an ever-changing backline. Sergio Ramos looked notably off the pace in the midweek defeat to Chelsea but his presence is a huge psychological win for Madrid.

Real Madrid Probable Line-up: Courtois; Nacho, Ramos, Militao; Mendy, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Vinicius Junior; Benzema, Asensio

 

 

Sevilla have no fresh injuries to contend with as defender Sergi Gomez continues to remain the only notable absentee.

Sevilla Probable Lineup: Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Rakitic, Fernando, Papu Gomez; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

 

GAMECHANGERS

It is hard to understate the importance the value of Karim Benzema in this team. The French forward has continued to defy age and injuries as he leads Madrid’s title charge with a continuous stream of goals. The ace marksman is the second-highest scorer with 21 strikes in the league, with nine of them coming in the last 10 games. He also has eight assists to go with them, the highest in this team along with Toni Kroos.

 

 

Having worn the captain’s armband many times over the season, Benzema has truly shown what he is capable of when he is made the central act and there is little doubt that Zidane will again be looking to his compatriot to supply the goals against Sevilla.

In the opposite camp, leading Sevilla’s charge for the title and Europe has been a much more recent acquisition of Lopetegui. Youssef En-Nesyri has racked up 17 goals in this first full season with the Andalusians and has been instrumental in keeping alive the Champions League dream. To put that into context, their next highest scorer has five goals (Luuk De Jong).

 

 

The Moroccan will again be in the spotlight on Sunday as he goes toe-to-toe with the veteran in the opposite corner. Having scored two match winners in his last four games and Madrid’s defensive woes evident, En-Nesyri has the biggest chance to cement Sevilla’s spot firmly among the champions conversation once and for all.

 

PREDICTIONS

With both the teams looking to get a vital win to boost morale and their own title aspirations, it will be no surprise if the result is settled in the final ten minutes of this crunch clash. Madrid have a penchant for big moments and so, FootTheBall predicts Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla.

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