SEVILLA FC (5th) vs. CÁDIZ CF (9th)
The 2nd half of the season officially begins as Sevilla hosts Andalusian rivals Cádiz, in a repeat of their opening match.
The reverse fixture was won late as super-sub Munir El Haddadi made the difference with a goal & an assist in the final 5 minutes of the game. Spearheaded by ex-Sevilla striker Negredo, who almost grabbed a goal himself in the encounter, the Yellow Submarine nearly took points away from our Rojiblancos. Cádiz has recently hit a rough patch despite having a stellar start to the season, which was marked by wins against Athletic Club (away), Real Madrid (away) & Barcelona (home). But since that December 5th victory over Barça, Cádiz has only registered 1 win in 7 league matches. Will they recover their giant-killing form at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán?
As there are 4 teams from Andalusia in this LaLiga campaign, the unofficial Andalusian Cup is well under way. Sevilla still has some ground to make up on 1st-placed Granada. Here is the current rundown at the halfway mark:
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||+ / -|
In team news, Óscar Rodríguez misses his 2nd straight game due to a hamstring injury, as Diego Carlos remains in quarantine. Carlos Fernández is also dropped from the squad, this time, with a transfer likely in his near future. Finally, Sevilla Atlético striker Iván Romero has been called up to complete the 23-man squad.
Playing at home may work better for the opposition, with the onus on Los Nervionenses to attack their rivals. Lopetegui remarked that Cádiz are “one of the best teams in the league to play without possession.” They certainly had a few threatening counters in the previous match.
While Sevilla are making forward strides, especially amongst our attackers, there are still alarming issues in the team. Bono may have spared our blushes at the Mendizorroza, but that was only after a questionable display from him and his defence in the first half. Diego Carlos’ absence was surely felt, as Sevilla still looked vulnerable in the closing stages. But most might say that is the Sevilla way. Will we ever give ourselves an easier run at obtaining 3 points?