One of my least favorite sports cliches is the idea that every important or difficult game is a final. Marca calls today’s game “the first final”, which is just…ugh. But I agree this is the most important of the three matches against Real Madrid in 2017, for both teams: I’m sure RM would rather win a triplete than a doblete, so to that extent the Copa matters, but on the other hand they could do without the distraction and fatigue, and the other titles they’re playing for matter more. Ditto Sevilla, who will be more interested in a deeper drive into the Champions League and an automatic qualification to next year’s Champions (or maybe more?!) from La Liga than in adding to their CdR trophy haul.
So this is the game that matters, and will have the strongest lineups, etc. And if math and my analysis are right, we’re in for a treat: 3–0 > 3–3 > …obviously the most likely result today is a 3–0 Sevilla win. Everyone bookmark this page so you can link to my prescience in the glorious post-match pandemonium.
Anyway, should be a really exciting game, even if my prediction doesn’t come through. I’m looking forward to seeing it, and to seeing you all here.