Sevilla @ Girona: Preview and Discussion

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Coming off the kind of hard fought draw that has defined this Sevilla squad in Europe over the last decade, we’re headed on a road trip to Girona today. Girona has started off the season well, with a well-played home draw against Atleti and a win over Malaga before losing at San Mames last week. There back three of Pedro Alcala, Marc Muniesa and former Sevilla Atletico man Bernardo has been rock solid so far. Cristian Stuani, the striker who is the definition of mediocrity, has chipped in a few goals. Borja Garcia and Alex Granell are the two guys to keep an eye on in center midfield.


Berizzo continues his trend of rotating heavily, leaving Nolito (injured), Pizarro (injured), Kjaer, Escudero, Navas and Nico out of the squad. Carole will almost certainly get his first start at LB. The full list is Rico, Soria, Mercado, Corchia, Lenglet, Carrico, Carole, Geis, Nzonzi, Ganso, Banega, Mudo, MKD, Borja Lasso, Sarabia, Montoya, Tucu, Ben Yedder and Muriel. This is the deepest squad we’ve had in forever, and as much of a luxury as that is, I worry that it’s going to create problems with the chemistry of the squad. A lot of the success under Emery came because guys knew their role, knew what their playing time would be, and understood their role within the squad.


One thing is becoming obvious right now. We have too many central midfielders (knocking on wood that we don’t pick up 5 injuries this week). A couple of weeks ago, the assumption was that Pizarro would join Banega and Nzonzi as the third first-choice CM in Berizzo’s 4-3-3. Sarabia’s sudden claim to that 3rd first-choice role has thrown the CM hierachy into flux. Right now the depth chart looks something like this.

1st choice - 2nd choice - 3rd choice

Nzonzi - Pizarro - Geis

Banega - MKD - Borja Lasso

Sarabia - Ganso? - Mudo

I think we can all agree that Mudo is too good of a player to be third choice at any position. Given the versatility of most of these guys, we only really need 6 CMs, maybe 7 to cover for a rash of injuries. And there’s not a lot of ways to get these guys on the field in other ways. Both Sarabia and MKD can play on the wing, and Mudo has done it before with less than fantastic results, but the rest of the them are pure CMs. I don’t have any idea how Berizzo is going to keep all these guys happy, but I’m certain at least one of them will leave in January.

How should Berizzo handle this? How would you? Looks like Sarabia is headed back to the wing today

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Vamos Sevilla! As expected, we made lots of changes. This is a test of our squad and how well this team plays together as a team. We got the quality to win and keep our other players rested who played against Liverpool for upcoming games. Let’s hope Muriel bright start to the season will be rewarded with a goal today. He’s been close and been very lively up front, he just needs a goal.

Let’s hope we can get the 3 points today!

Too many changes for rotation and too many players not even called up. Not very good, but let’s hope it works vs. a hungry Girona away.

Did Girona soak our side of the field? When Montoya made that divet, it looked like it was full of water under the grass.

These unis are so damn sexy. I want one but New Balance in the US doesn’t have them on the website.

Has Montoya done anything at all yet to impress or prove his worth as a starter? Obviously we need to rotate players with such a busy schedule in the next few weeks, but I’d take Mudo or MKD over Montoya based on past performances. Still don’t love Ganso yet but at least he’s popped up to score a couple goals recently so hoping for more of the same.

His work rate is good. He tracks back on defense and actually makes some good runs going forward. Touch tends to let him down.

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Not a great game so far. N’Zonzi talked himself into that yellow. He had a point that it wasn’t a foul, but still.

Great pass by Ganso to Sarabia

Lenglet a stone wall right there. Nice tackle.

3 or 4 really good tackles so far

Really flat first half. Both sides are even. Loads of physical contact hindering passing & ball play. Very few attempts on target & attacking chances in general. We’ll need explosive players like Correa in the 2nd half

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As expected. We are toiling here. Missing a few key players and it shows. However, our new look defence has done well. That’s a positive.

However, we need to show more going forward. Muriel has had nothing to feed on! We need more creativity, we got mudo, Ben yedder, and correa on bench. We got quality on bench to change it up to try and win it!

At least we level and no damage done. We still got the chance to win but we need to do more in attacking sense and berrizo needs to make changes!

Big 45 mins ahead! Vamos!


I agree his work rate is good but I’d rather have a midfielder with good touches than a hustler with bad touch against a team like Girona which I thought we’d want to have more attacking options against since the defense of a champs league team should be able to hold it’s own against a newly promoted squad. Also pairing him with Ganso (who is mostly irrelevant so far but will probably score the game winner) doesn’t seem to make for a good combo. Based on that first half I’d be happy if we start launching some long balls for Muriel to run after instead of trying to create opportunities through too slow Ganso or too fast Montoya. Do you guys think that Gansu-Montoya is better than Mudo-MKD in this type of game?

Montoya, not contributing anything, not Sevilla material, let alone a starter. Why is Mudo not playing? Understoo he is not 100% match fit, but when is he going to get that match fitness? Last I heard the bench doesn’t provide that.

Sarabia a bit off… the others so-so, not 100% today. Hopefully we can somehow sneak out a win, but not looking very likely so far with only a header shot on goal by N’Zonzi and a half chance by Sarabia trying to provide for Muriel. Not enough to make something happen.

He’s definitely fourth choice on the wing for me. I’m guessing Berizzo wanted a guy who would give Corchia defensive cover to bomb forward, especially with Ganso on the field. But his best role going forward is probably as a late defensive sub.

Today’s tactics resemble Sampaoli’s a bit to be honest. Possession and trying to not make mistakes = very low attacking threat and probably ending up losing pathetically in the end or drawing vs. a team that we should have beaten with a bit of effort.

Where is Berizzo’s pragmatism in this one?

Get Correa on for Montoya and later on Mudo to have some match flow.

Two most defensive subs and MKD warming up. WTF?

Finally Muriel!!! Welcome back Mudo what a ball

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Girona has wasted so many chances