MX23RW : Monday, April 22 06:20:32| >> :600:7396894:7396894:
Jan 19, 2019 at 3.15pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Attendance: 68,232
Real Madrid
Casemiro (78'), Modric (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Sevilla - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have the chance to make it back-to-back wins in La Liga this weekend when they take on Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

The reigning European champions have had a season to forget domestically, dropping points in nine of their 19 league matches, but they can move up to third with victory over the side directly above them.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid celebrate their opening goal against Real Betis in La Liga on January 13, 2019.© Reuters

The 2-0 home loss to Real Sociedad a fortnight ago may well have been the nadir in a woeful campaign for Madrid, as they saw their title charge slip further away with yet another shock defeat.

That first home loss to Sociedad in 15 years left Santiago Solari's men 10 points behind leaders Barcelona and, perhaps more of a concern, one point and one place outside of the top four.

Last weekend's 2-1 victory over Real Betis came at the perfect time, then, with Madrid claiming a first league triumph of 2019 to move back into a Champions League qualification spot and level on points with their next opponents.

Worryingly for Solari's side, they have lost two of their last five home league games, having also suffered defeat to Levante in October, after going unbeaten in their previous 13, winning 10 of those.

Madrid have also shipped 24 goals this season - a return bettered by 11 other sides - and have scored an underwhelming 28 goals at the other end of the field, with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema the only players to break into double figures for the campaign.

Quite simply, the 2016-17 champions are not doing enough to keep out opposition sides, with 100% of the goals they have conceded coming from inside the box.

It was from close range that Martin Braithwaite scored the only goal of the game in midweek, too, as Madrid lost 1-0 to Levante in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, though Los Blancos still progressed through courtesy of a three-goal lead from the first leg.

Solari admitted after the match that his side were "weak", with his rejigged formation not having the desired effect, and the pressure really will grow on both the manager and his underperforming group of players should Sevilla leave the Spanish capital with all three points on Saturday.

Recent form in La Liga: WWWDLW
Recent form (all competitions): WDLWWL


Sevilla manager Pablo Machin during a Europa League match in September 2018© Reuters

Sevilla have enjoyed an impressive campaign under Pablo Machin, but their momentum appears to have dried up over the past seven weeks or so.

Since beating Real Valladolid 1-0 to move up to the top of La Liga in late November, Los Rojiblancos have won just one of their last six matches - a 2-0 triumph at home to Girona shortly before Christmas.

Seven points from a possible 18 either side of the winter break is a bad return, allowing Barcelona to pull away at the top and for Atletico Madrid to nestle into second spot, now five points better off.

Sevilla had at least made themselves difficult to beat during their loss of form, though a 2-0 reverse in their most recent league outing at Athletic Bilbao showed that they are not cut out to challenge for the title.

That makes it four league losses for the season, which only top-two sides Barca and Atletico can better, but Machin's charges did also go down 1-0 to Athletic in the Copa del Rey in midweek, albeit after winning the first leg 3-1.

Back-to-back losses leave Sevilla badly out of form, then, and they risk dropping out of the top four entirely this weekend should they lose at the Bernabeu and surprise package Alaves beat Getafe in the Friday night fixture.

A return to their late autumn form would lift Los Rojiblancos right back into title contention, but for now it is a case of holding on and hoping that the sides below them fail to take advantage of their inability to get a win on the board.

Recent form in La Liga: DDWDDL
Recent form (all competitions): WDDWLL

Team News

Thibaut Courtois in action for Real Madrid on September 26, 2018© Reuters

Solari rotated his side for the trip to Leganes by bringing in the likes Federico Valverde and the out-of-favour Isco, but changes are expected for the visit of Sevilla.

A hip injury sustained by Thibaut Courtois earlier this month will mean another start for Keylor Navas in goal, however, and Lucas Vazquez is expected to retain his place in the forward line after serving a one-match ban in the league.

Marcelo, used in a more advanced position in the midweek cup clash, has seemingly lost his place in the side to Sergio Reguilon, while further forward Benzema is a doubt after breaking his finger last week.

In terms of the visitors, Daniel Carrico and Franco Vazquez missed the loss to Athletic last time out in the league through suspension but are in line for an immediate return here.

Roque Mesa is ruled out, however, so Vazquez will slot in alongside Ever Banega, and both Nolito and Maxime Gonalons are also carrying injuries.

Wissam Ben Yedder has been involved in five of the last six league goals Sevilla have scored against Madrid - three of his own and two assists - and is certain to lead the line on Saturday.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Modric, Casemiro, Ceballos; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Carrico, Kjaer, Gomez; Navas, Banega, Vazquez, Escudero; Sarabia; Yedder, Andre Silva

Head To Head

Real Madrid have won their last nine league games against Sevilla at the Bernabeu - their best such streak against them in the competition - scoring an average of 3.7 goals per game.

Los Rojiblancos' most recent away league win in this fixture was in December 2008 when prevailing 4-3 in what turned out to be Bernd Schuster's last match in charge of the opposition.

These two sides have not drawn any of their last 27 La Liga meetings overall, meanwhile, with 16 wins for Madrid and 11 for Sevilla across that spell.

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We say: Real Madrid 2-2 Sevilla

Real Madrid have kept just three clean sheets in the last 27 league meetings between the sides and Sevilla four, suggesting that goals can be expected this weekend. The teams are level on 33 points and are currently battling it out for a top-four spot, so victory for either out-of-form side on Saturday will provide a major shot in the arm.

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Real Madrid's Isco in action with CSKA Moscow's Rodrigo Becao on December 12, 2018.
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