Today is the first day of the rest of the season: Atleti – Sevilla

For the first time since we were eliminated from the Copa del Rey in the semifinals on March 4, 2009, Sevilla is only playing in one competition. It seems somehow fitting, then, that as we kick off our “second” season we face maybe our most direct rival for our goal, 7th place and a spot in the Europa League. Currently a point behind us but 4 goals ahead on GD, they’re the team that sticks out when we look in our rear-view mirror for possible threats. (Also present and possibly threatening are Getafe and Mallorca, each within a game and certainly capable of winning more points than us over the remaining 14 games). Looking ahead of us, we’re 4 points from 5th place, and 12 from 4th, currently held by a Valencia squad that as SRH noted is dropping points almost every single week.

Whether or not you think we can get to any of those places, though, here’s the deal: Manzano has 14 games with no distractions, no secondary or tertiary objectives in mind. He’s had this team long enough now that it ought to be able to do what he wants, and this is his time to show what he can do with it. As far as ticket stamping for next year goes, 7th and 5th are equal. But they are not equal in terms of pride or prestige, so now’s the club’s time to show life, show heart, and show the world who Sevilla FC is.

Missing from our 18 today are Kanoute (injury), Palop (injury still but maybe also Varas?) and Romaric (injury). That leaves, however, a very strong side to take the field, and could show us a midfield pairing of Rakitic and Medel in the starting XI for the first time.

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡VAMOS MI SEVILLA!!!!!!!!