Midweek saw Sevilla secure advancement to the round of 16 in the Europa with an away win against a pretty damn good German team, even as the weekend competition, Atletico, slumped to a 1–0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen. As omens go I guess that’s encouraging, but then Atleti had an extra day to rest, oh and also they’re good. Oh and also losing could send Sevilla as many as 8 points adrift of Champions League spots. Which…I mean there’s plenty of season left, but not that much. Losing tomorrow would probably change the question from “can we qualify for Champions League?” to “we’re gonna make it to Europa right?”
If this situation feels familiar, it’s because we are in this space, the middle ground between CL and EL, pretty much every year at more or less this point in the season. This week Rene dissected the various qualification scenarios, and their attendant maths (like the good economist he is). In a way, you could say his conclusion is that neither route to the Champions League is particularly promising, exactly, and really it’d be awesome if we just did both things. I don’t disagree. Getting points in the RSP tomorrow vs Atleti would be a great step.
So let’s get some points tomorrow. In fact, I’ll go a step further: Small Games Success Theorem be damned, let’s win this thing. It’s our house, and we’re pretty good too. And we absolutely can win. So let’s go. Vamos.