Sevilla will be bidding to make it back-to-back victories in La Liga for the first time since the start of January when they make the trip to Villarreal on Sunday afternoon.
Both of these sides were in European action during the week, with Villarreal beating Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Europa Conference League, while Sevilla drew 0-0 with Copenhagen in the Champions League.
Villarreal have made a strong start to the 2022-23 La Liga campaign, picking up 10 points from their five matches, which has left them in fifth position in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Osasuna.
The Yellow Submarine beat Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid in their first two league matches of the campaign before being held to a goalless draw by Getafe in their final game of August.
September started with a 4-0 victory over Elche, but Unai Emery’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Real Betis last weekend, so they will be looking to avoid a second straight defeat ahead of the international break.
Villarreal have made the perfect start to their Europa Conference League campaign, beating Lech Poznan 4-3 last week before recording a 2-1 victory away to Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Thursday night.
El Submari Groguet will be expecting to push for a top-four spot in La Liga this season and will also have their eye on European success, with the Spanish team among the favourites for the Europa Conference League.
Sevilla, meanwhile, will enter this clash off the back of a goalless draw with Copenhagen in their second match of the 2022-23 Champions League on Wednesday night.
Lopetegui’s position as head coach was believed to be in severe doubt following the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League on September 6, with rumours that he could lose his job if the team lost at Espanyol in the league last weekend.
Los Nervionenses came up with a strong response at the best possible time, though, recording a 3-2 victory at RCDE Stadium, which moved them out of the relegation zone and into 16th position.
It has still been a desperately disappointing start to the season for a team of Sevilla’s ilk, collecting just four points thus far, but a win over Villarreal on Sunday afternoon would certainly give the fans hope that clearer skies are just around the corner.
Rojiblancos picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Villarreal in the corresponding match last season, but they have not managed to overcome the Yellow Submarine away from home in Spain’s top flight since November 2017.
Villarreal La Liga form:
Villarreal form (all competitions):
Sevilla La Liga form:
Sevilla form (all competitions):
We say: Villarreal 2-1 Sevilla
Sevilla are more than capable of picking up a positive result here, but Villarreal’s form this season has been impressive, and it is difficult to look past the Yellow Submarine when choosing a winner. It should be a tight match on Sunday afternoon, with the home side just shading it.