For those of us who watched the Real Sociedad match it seems there were reasons to be encouraged (much better effort, better away form, and some excellent performances *Jairo*). Getting points away at Sociedad is, at a distance, a good result. But it also felt like we missed a real chance to break our away Liga winless spell. The game could’ve been ours. If not for such a heroic comeback from injury and generally solid play on the night, I think we’d all be a bit angrier with Trochowski for missing the sitter to end all sitters. Despite improvement, it still felt like 2 points that got away.
But the schedule is relentless, and we find ourselves just a few days later with an important Europa group match to play. This one is at home, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with away form dry spells. We should be able to focus squarely on handling our business and getting three points from what should be a challenging, but winnable game.
Freiburg had an epic season last year, nearly qualifying for Champions League before settling for Europa. In the end, failure to qualify for the CL may have been part of their undoing as they were forced to sell many of their top performing players. From what I have read, it sounds like the replacers have not yet matched the level of the replaced with Freiburg sitting second to last in the Bundesliga standings and yet to record a victory. Hopefully that poor form continues for at least one more match.
Of course our beloved Sevilla remain an model of instability. In fact, in the twelve official matches we have competed in this year, we have had a different starting 11 for all twelve. That’s actually impressive. This is inconsistency is primarily due to the absurd number of injuries that have made the Sevilla bench look more like the queue for the counter at a fast food burger joint. M’Bia, the latest casualty who was just rounding into impressive form, is now out for a month. On the other end, however, Fazio has been included in the list. His presence will be greatly appreciated given that Pareja hasn’t yet recovered his form and Cala will be suspended for the next Liga match this weekend.
Given this inconsistency its hard to know who will start this match. I guess we can all put our wild guesses below. But the list of 18 eligible for the match is: Javi Varas, Beto; Coke, Diogo Figueiras, Cala, Fazio, Nico Pareja, Alberto; Cristoforo Iborra, Rakitic, Trochowski, Perotti, Rabello, Jairo, Marín, Bacca y Gameiro.
We are already in first place in our Europa group, but a win today would really help fortify our position. I am a firm believer that handling these Europa matches and qualifying early is a huge boon for the team, allowing for easier roster management, and some experimentation in the last few matches if (hopefully) qualification is already resolved. So let’s give this struggling Freiburg side the business, and make a rout of it.
I’ll be on the road and unable to watch the game, but I look forward to following the drama as it unfolds by reading back through your comments. Cheers everyone.