Preview: Alaves vs. Sevilla

Preview: Alaves vs. Sevilla

Sevilla will be aiming to move to within three points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid when they make the trip to Estadio de Mendizorroza on Friday evening to take on struggling Alaves.

The visitors are currently second in the table, six points off the summit, while Alaves occupy 19th position, four points behind 17th-placed Granada on the same number of matches (26).

Alaves are locked in a relegation fight this season, having picked up just 21 points from their 26 matches, which has left them in 19th position in the La Liga table, four points behind 17th-placed Granada.

El Glorioso have actually been present in each of the last six La Liga campaigns, finishing ninth, 14th, 11th, 16th and 16th since winning the Segunda Division in 2015-16, but they will be dropping back into the second tier unless their form improves in the final months of the campaign.

Alaves have only actually won once in the league since the start of November, which came at home to Valencia on February 13, while they will enter this match off the back of a 2-2 draw with Getafe last weekend, with Gonzalo Escalante and Edgar Mendez on the scoresheet at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side have the second-worst away record in La Liga this term, picking up just six points from 13 matches, but they have collected 15 points at home, winning four and drawing three of their 13 games.

Alaves are without a victory over Sevilla in Spain’s top flight since January 2018 – a run of eight matches – but the points were shared in a 2-2 draw at Estadio Ramon earlier this season.

Sevilla remain firmly in the race for the title this season, boasting a record of 15 wins, nine draws and two defeats from 26 matches, which has brought them 54 points and left them in second position.

As mentioned, Julen Lopetegui’s side will be looking to close the gap to leaders Real Madrid to three points with a win on Friday evening, and the title challengers are actually unbeaten in Spain’s top flight since losing 2-1 to Los Blancos at Bernabeu at the end of November.

Sevilla have shared the points in four of their last six in the league but were able to secure a vital three points against rivals Real Betis last weekend, running out 2-1 winners at Estadio Ramon courtesy of first-half goals from Ivan Rakitic and Munir El Haddadi.

Los Nervionenses have not won La Liga since 1946, while they have not finished higher than fourth since 2009, so second position would be a huge positive for the club, who are preparing to take on West Ham United in the next round of the Europa League.

Lopetegui’s team cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in La Liga, and they have the third-best away record in Spain’s top flight this term, boasting 21 points from their 13 matches, suffering just two defeats in the process – at Real Madrid and Granada.

Alaves La Liga form:
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Sevilla La Liga form:
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Sevilla form (all competitions):
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We say: Alaves 0-1 Sevilla
It is results and not performances that are most important at this stage of the campaign, and this is a huge fixture for both sides in the context of their seasons. We are expecting a tight and cagey affair on Friday evening but believe that Sevilla’s extra quality will allow them to secure a vital three points.

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