Barely anytime has passed since the victory in Cornellá-El Prat and we are back in action again tonight for our second league game. Hardly two weeks after the Trofeo Ciudad de Granada friendly game, Sevilla face off again against the familiar faces of Granada tonight with kick off at 20.00, but with a much bigger incentive to win tonight. After the three points gained away to Espanyol last time round, Sevilla will be looking for the same again and until the market closes, every team will continue to adapt.
The signs against Espanyol were promising, with good football, superiority over the rival and good goals to reflect on. However, statistics in recent times against the recently promoted Granada side don't make for great reading. Of the last five encounters, three were won by Granada, with one draw and one victory for Sevilla, which came in the last match before Granada dropped down to the second division two seasons ago.
Hardly two weeks after the friendly, we meet again at the Nuevo Los Cármenes
Julen Lopetegui has only made the one change in the squad from the one in Espanyol, with that being the inclusion of Ever Banega after he served the end of his suspension. It is still to be seen however if the Argentine will play or if there will be an alteration in the starting XI from that in the RCDE Stadium; or if Lopetegui wants to make a few changes to play against a very familiar team in Granada. Granada are very familiar to Sevilla, from their coach Diego Martínez, to the seven players in the first team squad that have played for us before.
These familiar faces include: Martínez, Bernardo Cruz, Neva, Víctor Díaz, Yan Eteki, Rodri and Carlos Fernández. In fact, the majority of them never played a game for the first team, but all of them had played for the reserve team - Sevilla Atlético. The last on the above list is still a part of Sevilla's team, having been loaned to Granada for the season; and he can feature with no clause being included to stop him playing against his parent club. Even though pre-season was almost perfect for Granada, their start to the season was a rollercoaster of emotions, but it was a sweet ending more than anything, having drawn 4-4 away to Villarreal which was a job well done.
As well as Diego Martínez, seven of Granada's players have previous with Sevilla Atlético
Approximately 500 supporters from Sevilla will be in the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes tonight, with Granada who will try to end their record of seven straight defeats at home in the first tier of Spanish football. An Andalusian derby, the first of four that will take place this season; and in terms of Sevilla, we haven't done too well away from home in recent times. In fact, in the last nine away derby games we have only been able to win twice. They were in La Rosaleda (1 nil in the 2017/18 season) and in the Villamarín ( 2-1 win in the 2016/17 season).
José María Sánchez Martínez, from Murcia, is the referee in charge of this game. For him, it will be a quick return to take charge of a Sevilla game having been in charge for the last game of last season, where Sevilla beat Athletic Club 2 nil. Overall with this referee being in charge of seven games featuring Sevilla in LaLiga, there have been 3 victories, one draw and three defeats. Carlos del Cerro Grande, from Madrid, will be the person in charge of VAR.