Despite their impressive European success over Manchester United, a disappointing league season has left Sevilla down in 13th position in the table, while Villarreal are sixth, just four points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad in the race for a Champions League finish.
Sevilla are almost certainly going to have to win the Europa League this term in order to be present in next season’s Champions League, as a disappointing domestic campaign has left them in 13th spot in the table, some 16 points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad with nine games left.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side produced a special performance to advance to the semi-finals of the European competition on Thursday night, recording a 3-0 win over Man United in the second leg of their quarter-final, with Youssef En-Nesyri netting a brace and Loic Bade also getting his name on the scoresheet.
Sevilla were far too strong for Erik ten Hag’s side on Thursday and will now take on Juventus in the last four; it will be difficult for the team to switch their focus from that two-legged affair, but they have four league games against Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Girona and Espanyol before heading to Turin.
Los Nervionenses have eased their relegation fears in recent weeks, now sitting eight points clear of the bottom three, winning three of their last five in Spain’s top flight, including a 2-0 success at Valencia last weekend.
Sevilla actually have the fourth-worst home record in La Liga this term, only picking up 19 points from 14 matches, but they appear to have found their best form at the perfect stage of the campaign.
Villarreal, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 home loss to Real Valladolid last Saturday, which followed a run of three straight wins over Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid.
The Yellow Submarine are currently sixth in the table, just one point behind fifth-placed Real Betis and four from fourth-placed Real Sociedad in the battle for European football.
Quique Setien’s side have the fifth-best away record in La Liga this season, claiming 21 points from 15 matches, and they will certainly be the fresher of the two teams entering this contest.
Villarreal have finished seventh in their last two campaigns, while they have not been fourth since 2015-16, so it would be a big achievement to secure a Champions League spot for next term.
El Submarino Amarillo have only actually won one of their last six league games against Sevilla, but three of those fixtures have ended all square, including the last two, which have both finished 1-1.
Sevilla La Liga form:
Sevilla form (all competitions):
Villarreal La Liga form:
Villarreal form (all competitions):
We say: Sevilla 2-2 Villarreal
Sevilla put so much into their contest with Man United that it is only natural to expect a drop-off in terms of their performance in this match. Villarreal will be confident of picking up a positive result on Sunday, and we are backing the points to be shared in an entertaining contest.