This preview is a bit long and not entirely essential information. However, this calendar is a handy look at a very interesting stretch of the calendar for some of La Liga’s biggest teams. Check it out!)
That’s right–tomorrow is the first mid-week game of the season. Sevilla celebrates the occasion with a visit to Navarro to take on Osasuna. With Real Madrid’s delicious dive to defeat this weekend, Sevilla will kick off this game in 4th place but with the knowledge that there are plenty of teams below waiting to snatch up the slack and move into CL spots–anything less than a win will mean a drop in the table. That’s life on THIS end of the league, and that’s the place Marcelino has brought us thus far. Admittedly it’s early days, but thus far our new trainer has guided the team through tough away games at Champions League teams as well as vicious hated millionaire rivals, and (perhaps most significantly) into Sevilla’s traditional weakness: the “easy win” (more commonly known among Sevillistas as our most constant source of the “frustrating loss”), all without suffering defeat. It hasn’t always been convincing stuff on the field, but if anyone here would have said 7 points from these three games wasn’t good enough for a first year manager…you seem to have gotten lost in your journey through the internet. There are lots of great blogs for Barca and RM fans out there; see the “Links” section above.
Osasuna, meanwhile, started the season with a goalless draw at Atleti–a result that may well look impressive by the end of the season–followed by a win over Sporting, and then the unpleasantness over the weekend at Barcelona. (Side note: whenever a team whose president opposed or did not join the Del Nido Revolution gets shellacked by the EE…well, I sort of enjoy that a lot). This will be the second time in this year’s four games that we get the remains from Barcelona’s demolition project (an early season theme, as you’ll see below), and it will be interesting to see how Osasuna respond to the 8-0 humiliation they took just three days prior to kickoff. Should be interesting.
Anyway, kickoff’s at 2pm ET tomorrow. Looking ahead briefly, our next several games will go a long way toward sorting out the table from early surprisers to legit contenders: in 2 weeks we will have already faced the biggest three of La Otra Liga in Villarreal, Atleti, and Valencia. Marcelino’s genius decision not to qualify to Europa will really start to pay dividends in that timeframe, because while Valencia must host Barcelona this Wednesday and then visit the RSP over the weekend while preparing to host Chelsea next Wednesday, we won’t have to rest anyone because we have next week open. Similarly, When we face Atleti the following week, they’ll be coming off hosting Barcelona over the weekend and then traveling to Rennes on Thursday before facing us on the short week that weekend. Was that confusing? Look at this color-coordinated calendar I made:
- Sevilla: (A) Osasuna
- Valencia: (H) Barcelona
- Atletico: (H) Gijón
- Sevilla: (H) Valencia
- Valencia: (A) Sevilla
- Atletico: (A) Barcelona
- Sevilla: Massages, Mai Tai’s, and pool party
- Valencia: (H) Chelsea (CL)
- Atletico: (A) Stade Renne (EL)
- Sevilla: (A) Atletico
- Valencia: (H) Granada
- Atletico: (H) Sevilla