Sevilla @ Girona: Preview and Discussion

Coming off the kind of hard fought draw that has defined this Sevilla squad in Europe over the last decade, we’re headed on a road trip to Girona today. Girona has started off the season well, with a well-played home draw against Atleti and a win over Malaga before losing at San Mames last week. Their back three of Pedro Alcala, Marc Muniesa and former Sevilla Atletico man Bernardo has been rock solid so far. Cristian Stuani, a striker who is the definition of mediocrity, has chipped in a few goals. Borja Garcia and Alex Granell are the two guys to keep an eye on in center midfield.

 

Berizzo continues his trend of rotating heavily, leaving Nolito (injured), Pizarro (injured), Kjaer, Escudero, Navas and Nico out of the squad. Carole will almost certainly get his first start at LB. The full list is Rico, Soria, Mercado, Corchia, Lenglet, Carrico, Carole, Geis, Nzonzi, Ganso, Banega, Mudo, MKD, Borja Lasso, Sarabia, Montoya, Tucu, Ben Yedder and Muriel. This is the deepest squad we’ve had in forever, and as much of a luxury as that is, I worry that it’s going to create problems with the chemistry of the squad. A lot of the success under Emery came because guys knew their role, knew what their playing time would be, and understood their role within the squad.

 

One thing is becoming obvious right now. We have too many central midfielders (knocking on wood that we don’t pick up 5 injuries this week). A couple of weeks ago, the assumption was that Pizarro would join Banega and Nzonzi as the third first-choice CM in Berizzo’s 4-3-3. Sarabia’s sudden claim to that 3rd first-choice role has thrown the CM hierachy into flux. Right now the depth chart looks something like this.

1st choice  –    2nd choice  –  3rd choice

Nzonzi       –    Pizarro         –    Geis

Banega      –    MKD            –    Borja Lasso

Sarabia      –    Ganso?        –    Mudo

I think we can all agree that Mudo is too good of a player to be third choice at any position. Given the versatility of most of these guys, we only really need 6 CMs, maybe 7 to cover for a rash of injuries. And there’s not a lot of ways to get these guys on the field in other ways. Both Sarabia and MKD can play on the wing, and Mudo has done it before with less than fantastic results, but the rest of the them are pure CMs. I don’t have any idea how Berizzo is going to keep all these guys happy, but I’m certain at least one of them will leave in January.

How should Berizzo handle this? How would you? Looks like Sarabia is headed back to the wing today