Villarreal want to cap off their big week in Cádiz and Mallorca want a breath of fresh air at Cornellà
PARIS, Mar. 19 (Benin News) –
Sevilla FC, second in LaLiga Santander, will try to forget their European elimination at the hands of West Ham this Sunday in a shock at the top against Real Sociedad (6:30 p.m.), in a 29th day where Real Betis also wants to forget their disappointment at Balaídos (4:15 p.m.), Villarreal are aiming for sixth place against needy Cadiz (4:15 p.m.) and RCD Mallorca want to avoid relegation against Espanyol (2:00 p.m.).
Last Thursday, Julen Lopetegui’s men failed to defend their 1-0 lead in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 and lost 2-0 in extra time in London after equalising. Soucek and Yarmolenko’s extra-time equalizer knocked them out of their signature competition.
They only have LaLiga left, where they have lost steam in recent weeks against Deportivo Alaves (0-0) and Rayo Vallecano (1-1), two of three draws in their last four league meetings. With 56 points, they are ten behind leaders Real Madrid, so barring a White debacle, the title looks unlikely.
The Basque coach will be without Karim Rekik, Suso Fernández, Erik Lamela, Diego Carlos and ‘Papu’ Gómez, all injured, and could be joined by Marcos Acuña who did not train with his teammates last Friday.
Ahead of them, Real Sociedad are looking for a victory that will allow them to defend sixth place, the last to access continental competition. The Donostiarras, with 47 points, are two points ahead of Villarreal, the first of the title contenders, who could sleep there in the event of defeat and victory at Nuevo Mirandilla.
All this in a dramatic week in which they lost Mikel Oyarzabal; the striker broke the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and leaves the team without a leader. Carlos Fernández, Aihen Muñoz, Nacho Monreal, Ander Barrenetxea and Naïs Djouahra will also be unavailable for the “txuri urdin”, who forgot last week’s defeat at the Bernabéu (4-1) by winning the derby against Alavés (1-0) .
For their part, Real Betis, fifth in the table, must also recover against RC Celta from their painful elimination in the second European competition, where an own goal from Guido Rodríguez in the last act of extra time in the second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt condemned him (1-1).
In domestic competition, the defeats in the Seville derby (2-1) and against Atlético (1-3) were erased against Athletic Club (1-0) thanks to a goal from Borja Iglesias, who scored in the last two games of the Green and White and who will seek to repeat the feat against the club where he trained as a player.
Neither Nabil Fekir nor Aitor Ruibal, both suspended, will be available to Manuel Pellegrini, who will also have to deal with the absences of Martín Montoya, Cristian Tello, Rui Silva, Álex Moreno, Andrés Guardado and Víctor Camarasa, all injured.
The Galicians (35), who will regret the absences of Franco Cervi and Javi Galan, suspended, are in the middle of the table with Europe and have 12 points. They will try to erase the irregularity of their last matches and forget the 1-0 defeat against Villarreal.
Precisely, the Castellon club will be back in action this Sunday after having qualified in a masterly way for the knockout stages of the “Champions League” at the Juventus stadium (0-3); goals from Gerard Moreno, Pau Torres and Danjuma saw the ‘Yellow Submarine’ experience a historic night in Turin and meet the almighty Bayern Munich in the next round.
Before that, the men of Unai Emery, of which only Paco Alcácer and Alberto Moreno are absent, hope to find the European places, two points behind them, against Cadiz (24), penultimate in the classification and two points from the security area.
After four games on points – three draws and a win – Sergio González’s team stumbled at the Wanda Metropolitano (2-1) and lost the chance to keep up the pressure on their direct rivals, Mallorca and Granada, to avoid relegation. Salvi Sánchez, Tomás Alarcón, Juan Cala and Florin And only one will miss the clash.
Finally, at RCDE Stadium, Mallorca (26) desperately need a win if they don’t want to drop two points in the stall zone. Five consecutive defeats in recent games, including the last against Real Madrid (0-3), have put the team in great difficulty.
For their part, Espanyol approach this game relatively calmly, with 33 points and points in the last two games against Getafe (2-0) and Levante (1-1), but they cannot relax.
Manolo Reina will serve his second suspension and Pablo Maffeo will also be out after being sent off against Madrid, joining Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta and Dominik Greif in Luis García Plaza’s squad. The only absentee from the Perico side will be Javi Puado, who is suspended.
-SUNDAY PROGRAM IN LALIGA SANTANDER.
Spanish-Majorca. Muñiz Ruiz (C. Gallego) 14.00.
Celtic – Betis. From Burgos Bengoetxea (C.basque) 16.15.
Cadiz-Villarreal. Hernández Hernández (C.Canario) 16.15.
Seville – Royal Society. Soto Grado (C.Riojano) 18.30.
Real Madrid – FC Barcelona. Martínez Munuera (Valencian C.Valencian) 21.00.