The Seville derby is the headline fixture from the La Liga slate this weekend, and it looks set up to a thrilling battle at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The problems for Sevilla manager Diego Alonso continue to mount though.
As he approaches his first full month in charge, Alonso is yet to record a win in the Champions League or La Liga, despite a good draw to start against Real Madrid. Their latest defeat to Arsenal had Alonso and President Pepe Castro apologising to fans, and while the Uruguayan called the derby clash ‘an opportunity’, many Nervionenses will have their nerves tested.
Including Sergio Ramos, by the looks of things. Relevo say that it is almost impossible for him to make the match as he nurses a calf that has kept him out for the last three matches. While Ramos is keen to risk it, Sevilla themselves are less convinced.
But he is not the only problem either. Goalkeeper Orjan Nyland is out, as is left-back Marcos Acuna in all probability. Adria Pedrosa did ask to be taken off against Arsenal, but it appears he will be available to hold down the left-back position. Boubakary Soumare was also taken off in midweek with muscle discomfort, and he will likely be a decision made on Saturday depending on how he feels.
Real Betis are not entirely without issues of their own. With starting goalkeeper Rui Silva injured, Claudio Bravo appeared to go down with a thigh problem against Aris Limassol on Thursday night, and was heavily strapped in order to finish the game. They will neervously await his diagnosis. If it is negative, then Manuel Pellegrini must turn to third-choice Fran Vieites to come in for a mammoth game.