Ever since the league’s draw, we always knew Sevilla would have to face some top teams from Madrid and Barcelona looking down on us in the standings early in the season. Probably nobody guessed that that run of difficult games would start in week 3 with Madrid’s Rayo Vallecano. But so it is that we travel to Madrid this week to take on one of the three remaining undefeated teams in La Liga for a match that we’ll probably be looking back at in a few weeks as relatively easy points we’re either glad to have or annoyed to have lost.
One thing we didn’t know at the time of the draw, of course, is when the game would take place. This is of course because the LFP doesn’t announce the times of games until a week or two beforehand, which is a ridiculously stupid thing to do but what do you want, the LFP to NOT do ridiculously stupid things? On the plus side, though, this policy gives the organizers the opportunity to place marquee (and/or key) matches in prime slots to maximize viewership. So where did they place this game between teams tied for 1st and 4th, the highest ranking matchup of the week? At 6am ET/3amPT on Sunday morning, of course! Played by geniuses, run by idiots, etc.
However, Sevilla has more troubles than just an early Sunday game to deal with. The “injury plagued” groove the club usually waits until at least November to get into has already started, and Kondogbia, Campaña, and Perotti are all out for this match with injuries. Baba is an injury doubt, and of course Diego López will sit this one out with his red card suspension. Remarkably, Medel didn’t find a way to get suspended for accumulation of yellow cards in only two games, so he’ll be available.
In other news, Sevilla closed the transfer window by not suddenly losing any valuable players. They also didn’t succeed in unloading anyone we didn’t need or making an surprise late purchases (the transfer of Gio dos Santos to Mallorca for one million euros notwithstanding), which is especially troubling because it definitely looks like the club wanted to sign another central midfielder (the failed attempts for Jonathon dos Santos, Granero, and Ryad Boubedouz are particularly troubling evidence of both the ongoing decline of La Liga and the apparent gap in our midfield depth chart). But overall I’m happy with the transfer season: we held onto Rakitic, Negredo, and Navas, and picked up a few promising players for free or cheap in Rabello, Cicinho, and Kondogbia. It could have been much worse, you guys. Mostly I’m just glad the whole thing’s over with, and we have a few weeks’ silence before the rumor mill starts churning for the January transfer window.
Anyway, let’s do this, rojiblancos! Everyone set your alarm and let’s pick up some away points!