I always try to avoid writing the derby posts/previews because I have actually never set foot in Seville. And from everything I’m told, to understand the rivalry and animosity between the teams and their fanbases, it seems like something you simply have to experience in person. So lets lean heavily on Tim and Mark who I believe are both there right now and see if they can fill in some of the details later in the comments.
All I know is that this game makes me a bit nervous. Betis will be totally desperate, and we will struggle to not be distracted having just learned our Europa semi-finals opponent. Hopefully, the energy in the streets and Emery’s good guidance will be enough to refocus us on the task at hand where anything other than three points will likely mean that we can kiss our dreams of Champs League football next season goodbye. I think its critical that we start the game well and the first goal is likely to dictate whether its a dogfight or a blowout.
Only real news before the game is that Marin is oddly not in the chosen group, even after having missed the Porto game due to suspension. One would’ve thought that his fresh legs would be valued and its a bit tough to know what’s going on. Otherwise, I’m expecting some rotations, but with a full week off before we play Granada (who just beat Barca!) maybe we’ll see less than we’d otherwise think?
Unfortunately I’ll only be able to watch the first half and I think many of the rest of you are in the US and likely to still be in bed (you lazy bastards). But lets hope you have a nice friendly score line to wake up to at the very least.
Squad: Beto, Varas, Coke, Diogo, Navarro, Alberto Moreno, Fazio, Pareja, Carriço, Rakitic, Trochowski, Iborra, Vitolo, Reyes, Jairo, Mbia, Bacca y Gameiro.