CL Group Stage: Dinamo Zagreb – Sevilla FC

It’s amazing how an international break can lull you into forgetting just how fast-paced the professional calendar is. We play 5 times in 20 days before the next gap in the pro game, and I feel like I just woke up from the weekend’s daydream of an away win! There are children that weren’t even born the last time we won away and those tiny, helpless humans learned how to walk before we figured out how to do it again.

We’re going to attempt another today in Croatia against a Dinamo Zagreb side that has yet to put their stamp on Champions League Group H. To be clear, they have yet to score a goal in their first two (3-0 at Lyon, and 0-5 vs. Juve), but they’re bound to break in sooner or later, and given our penchant for leaking goals it could be today that they make their mark.

The Croats feature a new manager in Ivaylo Petev, who assumed leadership after Kranjcar’s exit after barely 3 months in charge following a 5-2 loss to league leaders Rijeka. He’ll have Ante Coric, an 18 year-old phenom, in the squad today linking up with Junior Fernandes, who will be familiar to Sampaoli from his days coaching the Chilean goal scorer to be good at the thing we hope he is very bad at today.

On Sevilla’s side, there’s no doubt the away win is a huge boost to players growing ever tired of talking about the subject at every press conference, but ya know those reporters need narratives and THE MEDIA is unreliable and in the tank for HILLARY who has THOUSANDS of EMAILS and CHINA CHINA CHINA!!

–Oops, sorry. I’ve been reading too much news lately.

It remains to be seen that we can, ya know, dominate a match beyond the possession statistic and not be outshot 19-5 by (a pretty good!) Leganés, but the important part is having won and the relief it will bring. Nasri continues to play almost every minute and will be needed today to steady a midfield that continues to search for a consistent conduit when moving into attack. Sampaoli hasn’t made excuses but keeps the idea of his developing process in his back pocket. I wonder how it would look without the last minute surprise of Nasri’s arrival? Still I trust the development of this team but think we will find out a lot about them over the next 20 days with Atleti and Barca sandwiching the return leg against Dinamo.

Predict our lineup and VAMOS!!