Note: for interesting news and updates from Sevilla’s general body meeting, check out yesterday’s post here.
I haven’t been watching Real Madrid or Barcelona much this year, so while last week’s ultra-mega-superduper-aren’t-you-happy-we’ve-replaced-the-entire-Liga-with-these-two-games UBERCLASICO was an interesting and entertaining match to watch, it was about as disappointing as it could have been from the Sevillista perspective. Not only did Madrid lose their theoretical 6 point cushion, which would have been great for coming to the RSP overly relaxed and overly confident, but the game further let us down by not bringing forth any of the trademark señorio-flouting fisticuffs for which Barca-RM clashes are so famous in recent years. I mean, our Catalan friends couldn’t even get Pepe red carded! Come on–most days that’s like trying to get water to go downhill! Full credit to Aléxis Sanchez, who ousted Di Maria and CR7 for most whining, crying and diving, and even outshone wannabe-abogado Xavi for most card-pantomiming (ARE YOU INTERESTED IN MY OPINION BECAUSE I THINK THAT DESERVED A YELLOW *hand-wave hand-wave hand-wave*) in his efforts to please, please have someone smack his ridiculous crybaby face, but for whatever reason it just wasn’t enough, and Real Madrid comes to Sevilla today not only full-strength, but also fully motivated to DESTROY.
This is obviously less than ideal for Sevilla, because this Madrid team not only has the usual talent-laden roster that makes you wonder if Florentino will be on the next season of A&E’s Hoarders (you KNOW he keeps Di Stefano stashed away in a closet along with Figo’s old cleats and Mourinho’s underwear), but the club has also added a touch of cohesion and chemistry, which has made their already lethal three touch defense/midfield/COUNTERATTACK progression much more fluid and efficient. I’d say Barcelona is probably the better of the two teams, but Madrid is easily the more frightening to play. Barca may well succeed in strangling you to death over 90 minutes, but it’s a slow death you’ll pretty much always see coming. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have this knack of actually playing poorly–or at least bafflingly disjointedly–for long stretches before displaying 15 seconds of terrifying lucidity, during which time four players will have muscled and sped the ball around the park and into your net.
Sevilla comes to the game with the usual desperate need for points along with the enchufado attitude they always bring to matches with Madrid. They also unfortunately come without Sr. Perotti, who hasn’t yet recovered from an injury two weeks ago. The squad is otherwise at full force save Palop, who wouldn’t have played today anyway. My final score predictions are almost always wrong, so I won’t bother trying, but I do expect a full-tilt game with lots of running into open space and at last defenders. Not sure how our much improved defense will stand up to Madrid’s fearsome front four, but hopefully Marcelino has enough faith in our back line to bring a strong attacking mentality to the game. Not necessarily because I think that’ll help us win, but because it’d be more fun to watch. We’ll see how things go–be sure to stop by and let’s cheer the team to VICTORY!!!