La Liga Sevilla vs Villarreal Game of the Week Preview

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Por Jonathan Willis
La Liga Sevilla vs Villarreal Game of the Week Preview

Sevilla started their La Liga campaign with a bang in a 4-1 rout over Rayo Vallecano last Sunday. Andre Silva notched a hat trick in his La Liga debut for Sevilla, giving supporters hope that he may be the answer to their problems at forward.

This week, they will face a tougher test when Villarreal come to town. Villarreal finished in fourth place in La Liga last season and are hungry for a win after a stunning 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad in the opener.

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Sevilla vs. Villarreal

Date and Time: August 26, 2018, 2:15 p.m. ET

Location: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Sevilla, Spain

US Television Coverage: beIN Sports

Betting Line: Sevilla -0.5 and -1, O/U 2.5 and 3

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Defensive errors proved to be the undoing for Villarreal in their home opener against Real Sociedad last week. Things started well for the Yellow Submarine. Gerard Moreno broke open the scoring for the home side in the 16th minute, and Villarreal started to ratchet up the pressure from there. However, a horrible back pass by center back Ramiro Funes Mori off of a throw-in, left goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo hanging out to dry and resulted in the game going into halftime at 1-1.

Unfortunately for Villarreal, that wasn’t the only error of the game. Midway through the second half, his partner Alvaro Gonzalez Soberon made another costly mistake. He stumbled and failed to clear a deep pass properly, once again giving a Real Sociedad player a one-on-one with Asenjo. Once again, Sociedad converted the opportunity, giving them a 2-1 victory.

Sevilla have been a busy club, one of the busiest ones in Europe. They were supposed to take part in the International Champions Cup this summer, but they had to pull out due to a jam-packed schedule of Europa League Qualifying and the Spanish Supercup.

Two years ago, Sevilla became the first team to ever win three straight Europa League titles, so this is a club that takes the competition seriously. They entered this season’s Europa League in the second qualifying round as a result of a seventh-place finish in La Liga last season, and they have crushed their first two opponents. They hammered Hungary’s Ujpest by a combined score of 7-1 a few weeks ago and just finished trouncing Lithuania’s Zalgiris Vilnius by a total of 6-0 over two legs.

In Spain, the results have been mixed. They were able to easily defeat Rayo Vallecano last weekend, but they failed to get the win against Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup.

Key Absences

Villarreal are going to be without some key players for this match. Defender Daniele Bonera will miss the next week or two as he continues to recover from an upper leg injury. Additionally, midfielders Bruno Soriano and Javi Fuego are set to miss this match. Fuego will be out for another four weeks with an ankle issue, while Soriano has yet to return to training because of a knee injury. Soriano is the team’s captain and leader in the midfield, and he has been missed.

Spanish La Liga Free Picks

Although there are more injuries to report on the side of Villarreal, and their performance was much worse than Sevilla’s in the opener, I’m going to go with the Yellow Submarine to pull off the upset on the road here. Sevilla will have played seven matches in less than a month by the time these teams meet on Sunday, and the brutal travel schedule teams must endure in the Europa League will catch up to them. They must travel to the Czech Republic to face Sigma on Thursday, and another short week will cost them.

Spanish La Liga Prediction: Villarreal 2, Sevilla 1

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