Unbeaten Home Record To Continue For Los Rojiblancos
Sevilla v Malaga
Sevilla entertain Malaga in La Liga’s Sunday night game with the home side hoping to continue their fine season by breaking into the top three.
A 4-0 victory over Granada in the Spanish Cup on Wednesday eased Sevilla into the quarter-final stages of the competition with a 6-1 aggregate win and a fourth on the spin overall – their eighth in an unbeaten stretch now going back nine games.
Unai Emery’s side are also undefeated at home all season – the only side in the Spanish top flight to boast such a record – with only Barcelona conceding fewer goals at home than Los Rojiblancos who lie six points off leaders Real Madrid.
Their defensive resilience is further demonstrated by six clean sheets in their past seven outings in which they’ve conceded just once.
Colombian striker Carlos Bacca is the club’s top scorer this season with ten La Liga goals and 11 in total, although he has failed to register in any of his last five appearances.
Malaga also reached the last eight in the Copa Del Rey in midweek but were made to fight all the way by Levante before scraping through 4-2 on aggregate, despite losing 3-2 on Tuesday.
That left Javi Garcia’s side with the disappointing return of only one win in their past four since returning from the winter break despite winning four in a row prior to that and they haven’t failed to score for the last 16 games running although they’ve hit the back of the net only nine times in eight La Liga games this season. Currently seventh, Malaga lie five points adrift of Sunday’s opponents in the final Champions League spots.
They’ve struggled to find a regular goalscorer this season as both Nordin Amrabat and Samuel lead the way with only four league goals apiece.
Defender Nicolas Pareja is suspended for the hosts, who also look set to be without Benoit Tremoulinas at the back. Midfield duo Stephane M’bia and Sebastian Cristoforo are out through international commitments and injury respectively.
The visitors look set to be without Welington, Ignacio Camacho, Roberto Chen and Flavio Ferrera through injury but defender Sergio Sanchez could make an appearance as he continues his recovery from a groin problem which has kept him on the sidelines since the beginning of December.
Malaga have enjoyed a fine record in recent times against their high-flying opponents – winning three and drawing two of the last five including a 2-0 win at the Ramon Sanchez two seasons ago. However, prior to that sequence Sevilla won five and drew one of the previous six so it’s accurate to say this is a fixture which has been prone to streaks of success for both sides.
Sevilla enjoyed the luxury of resting many of their players during their facile win in the Copa Del Rey in midweek, and so they should be fresh and more than capable of adding to their hugely impressive home record with another scalp here at 4/6.
Only half of their six home wins have been by more than one goal though, and all of those came against sides currently occupying the bottom seven spots in La Liga so the -1 handicap at 7/4 holds far less appeal than the hosts to win without conceding a goal at the same price.