“Once more unto the breach, dear friends…”: Sevilla – Dortmund Preview

“…or close up the wall with our English Spanish dead”.

Here’s the Bundesliga table right now, nearly halfway through the season. This might be all you need to know about our competition this week, unless you’re also interested in seeing this, from today’s cover of everyone’s favorite roomful-of-monkeys-at-typewriters publication:

Usually the week of the Sevilla-RM game, Marca invents a story to splash on their cover about how they’re going to sign one of our best players. Not that I’m complaining (or saying by Friday they won’t dig up a quote from Capel when he was 7 saying he’d always dreamed of watching a game at the Bernabeu), but such is the dominance of zee Germans that Marca is too busy drooling about DORTMUND’S players to pretend that they’re going to be our shirt sponsor next season.

Meanwhile, here’s us if you needed reminding (you do not, and I am sorry for this) :

Also, there’s the matter of this guy:

…who is still not quite ready to play (“difficult” was the word used to describe the idea of him playing tomorrow; no word on the likelihood of addressing the unfortunate facial hair situation he’s gotten himself into). On the plus side, Fazio and Luis Fabiano are ready to go and talking big about their desire to play well; Perotti is still listed as “doubtful”. Also doubtful is the possibility that a midfielder who can pass the ball effectively will materialize beneath Monchi’s magic wand in time to save us from more midfield ineptitude. Fortunately, “difficult” is also how Del Nido described our chances of finding a possibly fake passport among the Borussians to bitch about.

As we are well aware, all we need from this fixture is a draw to advance while a win would only see us take first if PSG somehow doesn’t beat Karpaty in their last game. After five consecutive losses (aggregate score from those games: 13-5), I’m guessing a draw against premier competition that allows us to advance in Europa would feel like all the candy canes on Christmas. Personally, I will greet a well-defended corner kick or any 4 consecutive successful passes with the rapturous applause and praise of a parent watching his one-year-old taking his first steps.

We’ve been crunched by so many crunch times lately that you get tired of even mentioning it, but here we are at a game where a loss will tangibly and irrevocably mean the end of the line in European competition this year. The game’s afoot, as King Harry said.