It’s hard to make much sense of this team at this point. They look brilliant and overpowering at one moment and disinterested and uninspired the next. Our last two games are as enigmatic as any two others. With the injury to Rakitic forcing Emery to have some tactical experimentation, the 3-4-3 looked great at Valladolid for the first half and we nearly had our first win away from The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in 13 months… until we blew it in the 80+ minute and left with a draw. Then, away at Liberec, we look poor and sloppy with yet another lineup, don’t get much of anything going, but steal the tie with an 88th minute goal from Vitolo.
Are either of these results horrible? No. In fact, the team is on a streak of 6 games without a loss. But those ties have felt so tantalizingly close to full points, that it still feels like we are losing two instead of gaining one each time.
Osasuna has come to life a bit recently. And their defense has been stingy, letting in just 2 goals in the last three games. Oh, and one of those opponents just happened to be Barcelona, who they drew. The only team in La Liga to get a result against them. So we’ll have our hands full. But we are and most demonstrate that we are a better team. These are points we must take if we are to be anything but mediocre this year. It’s time that we start putting it together and showing the world that those flashes of beauty we are seeing from time to time are the true Sevilla, and that this season will be a success in the end.
I couldn’t even begin to guess who will or won’t see the pitch. Rakitic or Mbia just back from injury? A Rusescu siting?!?!?! Cristoforo? Cala is out on cards… Bacca? Gameiro? Both? Which of our bevy of wing players? Perotti? Vitolo? Jairo? Rabello. No clue. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Here is El Desmarque’s guess. Seems as good as any.
Sevilla FC: Beto; Diogo, Pareja, Carriço, Alberto Moreno; Cristóforo, Iborra; Jairo, Rakitic, Vitolo; Carlos Bacca.
Suplentes: Javi Varas; Coke, Fernando Navarro, M’Bia, Perotti, Rabello, Reyes, Rusescu, Gameiro.