Sevilla and Eibar closed this Monday the thirty-fourth day of LaLiga in a duel for disparate objectives, but just as important for both, with three points in contention that would represent a great step towards the Champions League for the Andalusians or towards salvation for the Basques.
Sevilla face the first of their three ‘finals’ in a very demanding week, which they will complete in Bilbao on Thursday and at home against Mallorca on Sunday, with the idea of linking their second victory, after 0-3 in Leganés, and to defend tooth and nail his fourth place, with 57 points, 5 from Atlético de Madrid, third with one more game to win this day and that seems far from failing.
In this battle for the ‘Champions’, the Sevilla team is faithful to the guidelines of their coach, Julen Lopetegui, who reiterates that they must focus on themselvesAlthough they also know that the fight is closer than ever and they cannot afford another setback at home like the one two days ago against Valladolid (1-1).
With Villarreal on the prowl, just 3 points behind, Hispanics remain undefeated since the return of LaLiga, with 10 points added to 18 possible thanks to two wins (Betis and Leganés) and the series of four draws in a row (Levante, Barcelona, Villarreal and Valladolid) surpassed on Tuesday in Butarque, which has increased the mental strength of the team.
In Leganés, the Gipuzkoa coach gave Brazilian start Fernando Reges a break, the Argentine ‘brain’ Éver Banega – who had a contract on June 30, although his extension until August was announced this week – and two forwards, the Dutchman Luuk de Jong and Munir El Haddadi, author of the 0-3 after leaving almost at the end.
Although it will introduce some change, it is expected that all of them will return to an eleven with a notable drop by sanction, that of the central defender Jules Koundé, in great shape after the break and starter in the last eleven official matches, a vacancy that he could fill with Sergi Gómez or, perhaps with fewer options, delaying the position of the Serbian Nemanja Gudelj.
Lopetegui, who has praised Eibar and his counterpart José Luis Mendilibar, could also bet on the medium for more quality than physical with Óliver Torres, also a bigoleador in Leganés, instead of the ex-player gunsmith Joan Jordán, although it is probable that the Catalan will remain to offset the physical power of the rival.
Meanwhile, Eibar visits the Nervión stadium forced to overcome the march of one of its best players such as the Chilean Fabián Orellana and continue to row in his match in Seville, in that fight for a permanence that he caresses with his fingers.
The last day ended the good streak of an Eibarrés team that had four games without losing, with two consecutive victories before falling disappointingly against Osasuna (0-2), and now the distances with the relegation places have narrowed to the six points.
Orellana will no longer play because her contract expired on June 30, like the Argentine Gonzalo Escalante, losses that were noted in the defeat against the Navarrese team, in a clash where the weapon creation line scratched below its usual level.
Changes are seen again as usual in José Luis Mendilibar this season after the break, In which he is alternating his entire team, although it is expected that players who shone in the last game such as Pedro León, Kike García or central defender Paulo will remain in the eleven against an Andalusian team that is looking for the Champions.
It is likely that Mendilibar will look askance at his next match against Leganés, a golden date for the Gipuzkoa to win a victory that would be definitive, although the Biscayan coach has shown this season that he is unpredictable in his rosters and that no player has the secured position.
– Probable lineups
Seville: Vaclík; Jesús Navas, Sergi Gómez or Gudelj, Diego Carlos, Reguilón; Jordán, Fernando, Banega; Ocampos, De Jong, Munir.
Eibar: Dmitrovic; Rafa, Bigas, Paulo, Correa; Diop, De Blasis, Inui, Pedro León, Sergio Álvarez; Quique Garcia.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Valencian Committee).
Stadium: Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
Time: 22.00 local time (20.00 GMT).