In the last game before tonight’s one, Sevilla took the lead very early away from home, already in sixth minute from a penalty kick by Bacca, but showed signs of weakness later on. Russian side Zenit took the charge of the game, especially in the second half and thanks to two mistakes from goalkeeper Beto, they took the lead and were even slightly pressuring for the third goal.
Luckily for the Spanish side, the team managed to tie up the game in 85th minute via Gameiro, as Sevilla ultimately won a draw in Saint Petersburg which was enough for the team to progress to the semifinals of Europa League thanks to their 2:1 win at home in the first leg. With this result, Sevilla made another success in Europe, getting a nice injection for their morale in front of most important matches in Primera. The team is still at the fifth position, two points below Valencia and Champions League ticket, which makes this game as must win situation for them. Central defender Nicolas Pareja (26/1) suffered serious injury in previous game and will miss in next six to seven months. Main goalkeeper Beto (18/0) and forward/ offensive midfielder Vitolo (28/9) will also be sidelined for this one due injury. Coach might decide to change couple of more players in order to gain more fresh squad.
Rayo Vallecano, on the other side, had a 2:0 victory at home against Almeria last weekend, three pointer that for sure now has removed all the doubts regarding the possible relegation battle for the team. They are now at eleventh position, thirteen points away from relegating placed Deportivo and the team finally can feel much more relaxed.
They were much better in the first halftime against Almeria, opening the lead with a goal from Amaya in 23rd minute, lowering down the tempo in the second halftime, but still managing to seal the victory with the second goal in last moments of the game via Miku. With this result, team has broke a streak of two defeats and as said, ensured their stay in the league, while they can now give some more playing time to younger players and look for their solutions for the next season when talking about roster replacements. Without further stress they will go into next games, but also staying without competitive motive might be tricky for them. Defender Tito is suspended, while the team also misses forward Leo Baptistao (22/7) and goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez (17/0), both being injured.
Some of Sevilla players might be influenced by fatigue, but the team is already used on playing large number of matches during the season. They need three points here, Vallecano already showed how easily they fall apart away from home and I believe that the team will be decided much, much earlier than in the last quarter of the game.
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