Preview: Sevilla vs. Real Valladolid

Preview: Sevilla vs. Real Valladolid

Hoping to bounce back from a disappointing opening-day defeat, Sevilla will play host to Real Valladolid on Friday in the second round of La Liga fixtures.

Julen Lopetegui’s side lost to Osasuna last weekend, while their visitors were beaten by Villarreal on their return to Spain’s top flight.

After maintaining a title push for large portions of last season, only narrowly trailing Real Madrid for the majority of the term, Sevilla ended on a disappointing note, eventually dropping to fourth place.

Having also dropped out of the Europa League in the round-of-16, Los Hispalenses were, at least, able to keep their place in the top four and book a spot in the upcoming Champions League group stage as they finished a point behind third-placed Atletico Madrid and three behind second-placed Barcelona.

Turning their attention to the new campaign, they had a mixed run of results in pre-season, drawing with Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting Lisbon and beating Angers and Cadiz while also losing to Leicester City and suffering a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal in the Emirates Cup final.

Sevilla’s league season began with a trip to Osasuna last Friday, and Rafa Mir quickly drew them level after Ezequiel Avila’s early opener, only for the hosts to snatch all three points in the 74th minute as Aimar Oroz converted a penalty.

With their sights set on again pushing at the top end of the table this term, Lopetegui’s men will be desperate to ensure they put their first points on the board on Friday and kickstart a positive run of form.

They welcome a Real Valladolid side also looking for their first points amid a tough opening schedule following their promotion back to the top flight.

After dropping out of La Liga in the 2020-21 campaign, The Blanquivioletas kept themselves in the fight for promotion throughout last term but looked confined to the playoffs with a five-point gap to bridge to the top two with just four games to go.

Pacheta’s side were able to sneak into the automatic promotion spots on the final day, though, beating then-second-placed Huesca 3-0 in the decider to make it four straight wins as Shon Weissman, Gonzalo Plata and Alvaro Aguado got on the scoresheet at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

Following a positive pre-season campaign, culminating in a draw with Lazio and a penalty shootout win, the Blanquivioletas began the La Liga term with a clash again Villarreal, and, after Pacheta’s men kept the contest goalless in the first half, their visitors eventually took a lead through Nicolas Jackson, before Alex Baena wrapped up all three points with a late brace.

Hoping to establish themselves in the top flight in the coming seasons, Real Valladolid will be keen to quickly get their points tally up and running to avoid being cut adrift at the bottom of the table as the league continues, but they face another tough test away at the top-four hopefuls.

Sevilla La Liga form:
L
Real Valladolid La Liga form:
L

We say: Sevilla 3-1 Real Valladolid
Lopetegui’s side will be desperate to bounce back from their opening-day defeat, and they should have too much quality for the newly-promoted outfit, even if their new-look defence is still somewhat shaky.

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