Real Madrid host Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday in a top four clash. Los Blancos have endured a turbulent season by their standards, rife with managerial controversy and inconsistent performances on the pitch.
Sevilla on the other hand are much improved from last season, and are right in the mix for Champions League qualification at the end of the season.
Both teams sit ten points behind leaders Barcelona, and a victory for one side could prove to be a devastating blow to the other. Here's 90min's preview of Saturday's game.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 19th January |
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:15 BST|
|Where Is it Played?||Santiago Bernabeu|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven La Liga TV, Bet 365 Live|
Real Madrid have several established first team players ruled out of Saturday's match. Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Thibaut Courtois and Marco Asensio are all injured, whilst Karim Benzema remains a doubt. Brahim Diaz, recently acquired from Manchester City, has come off the bench in the last two matches and will be pushing for a starting berth.
Sevilla have been more fortunate in the injury department, with Maxime Gonalons and Nolito their only long term absentees. Boss Pablo Machin may be looking to make changes from the team who lost against Athletic Bilbao last time out.
|Real Madrid||Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Isco, Ceballos, Diaz; Vinicius Jr|
|Sevilla||Soriano; Mercado, Carrico, Gnagnon; Vidal, Banega, Amadou, Vazquez, Sarabia; Ben Yedder, Promes|
Head to Head Record
Although the overall history of this fixture has been dominated by Madrid, Sevilla have been tricky customers for them in recent history. Real have won 33 of their 50 previous encounters, with Sevilla emerging victorious 13 times.
However in their last five meetings, Sevilla have won three times - including a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
Real Madrid have discovered some degree of consistency of late, losing just one of their last five league games. Sevilla on the other hand will be looking to end a run of three games without a win, and will need to bounce back following last week's defeat to Bilbao. Here's how both teams have fared in their last five matches.
|Leganes 1 -0 Real Madrid (16/01)||Sevilla 0 - 1 Athletic Bilbao (16/01)|
|Real Betis 1 - 2 Real Madrid (13/01)||Athletic Bilbao 2 - 0 Sevilla (13/01)|
|Real Madrid 3 - 0 Leganes (09/01)||Athletic Bilbao 1 - 3 Sevilla (10/01)|
|Real Madrid 0 - 2 Real Sociedad (06/01)||Sevilla 1 - 1 Atletico Madrid (06/01)|
|Villarreal 2 - 2 Real Madrid (03/01)||Leganes 1 - 1 Sevilla (23/12)|
This is a must win game for both teams if they are to cling on to the slim hope of closing the gap on Barcelona. With Real likely to field a relatively inexperienced team for such a big game, Sevilla could capitalise on their nerves in front of an impatient crowd - heaping yet more misery on Santiago Solari's reign as manager.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1 - 3 Sevilla