Since securing seventh place in the league in May, Sevilla knew they would have an extra month of competition in summer and six matches to reach the Europa League Group Stage for the eighth time since the trophy's new format established in 2004/2005. Never before has it been so costly to reach this round which has required this incredible effort over the summer. The team has arrived at this match thanks to their five wins against Újpest, Zalgiris, and the 1-0 win over Sigma Olomouc. However, 90 minutes remain - assuming no extra time - to assure Sevilla of their place and there is no room for distractions.
It's true that el Gran Derbi is looming, and as much as Pablo Machín has made clear that it is not yet on their focus, the match is always a big event in the city. Furthermore, the closing of the transfer market could divert attention away from matches. That said, however, the first leg against Sigma showed the respect that they deserve. In a match in which the central European team could have easily scored, Pablo Sarabia's strike brought an excellent result, but not yet definitive, back to Sevilla.
The first leg against Sigma showed the respect that they deserve
Additionally, however without giving away too many details, Machín said that he will continue to divide minutes between the team as he has been doing since the team has had to play two matches a week. Sergio Escudero and Amadou will definitely be out of this match, while Machín knows he cannot count on them for the weekend either. Therefore, it is likely that Arana will appear at left wing-back, while players like Berrocal, who dropped down to the B-team on Sunday to play Ibiza, could return to the team. Other than that, it remains to be seen who the manager prefers to keep fresh for the battle in the Benito Villmarín.