By all accounts and surveys of recent results, Sevilla are on the up. As blog friend messioronaldo posted, the second half of the season has seen happier trends for mopey Sevillistas far too used to crying in their kalimotxo for 90 minutes at a time this season. So now that we’re playing better, it’s probably time for a dip in form, right? Well, maybe not this time! Besides the rejuvenation of club spirit and form, we have in our favor a three week stretch of the kind of matches that Sevilla always show up for: big stakes, big opponents. We’ll visit RM this weekend, Barcelona in two and then welcome Atleti in the semifinal vuelta. I have a hard time imagining that we’ll emerge from these weeks with a “meh” feeling. I suspect we’ll either we’ll be very encouraged or very discouraged by the end. Note that the normal preview of a stretch of winnable matches is oozing with fatalist despair, whereas a run of extremely difficult ones is optimistic. Our (confounding) team, our (confounding) selves.
Some notes for the match this weekend:
RM are as up and down as they’ve been all season (see: 4-0 smashing Getafe, 0-1 slumping at Granada), and since a CL date against ManU looms after our match it’s anyone’s guess what kind of team Mou will trot out. Favorites like Di Maria, Ozil, Khedira or Coentrão could see rest while others like Modric, Kaká, Callejón or Marcelo are rotated in. Ronaldo and his iffy ankle are also being talked about as possible reserves in anticipation of their midweek visitors. For the décima time, Madrid needs to beat ManU at all cost.
Sevilla will be without some key players due to injury (Cicinho) and idiocy (Rakitic). Emery will probably try to slide Reyes’s strong play into the middle from the left to fill Raki’s place giving Manu a starting role. With both Kondogbia and Medel available this seems like the most logical solution, but I’m not much of a tactical mind. You tell me!
What needs to happen:
1. Ramos gets red carded for spitting on someone. Chulísimo.
2. Perotti sends a gift basket containing the message “IOU two more years at least” to everyone in the entire organization who has supported him throughout his injuries and less-gilded play. “Also, I’m still very sorry that I didn’t score on that play against Casillas two years ago. It was not a masterful save; it was a lazy shot attempt.”
3. A coordinated goal celebration that involves Emery in some way. Maybe everyone runs over to him and they all do the Luis Aragones robot arm together (also known as the Argentina WC Coca Cola commercial).
4. For God’s sake, not another red card against us. Puh-leez, refs.