A TOP-OF-THE-TABLE CLASH AT THE BERNABÉU
Sevilla FC are back at the Santiago Bernabéu, after last year's fixture took place in Valdebebas due to the ongoing construction work at the stadium. The team will be looking to continue their strong form and remain at the top end of the table with a win, but the last win away at Real Madrid came 13 years ago. In last year's match at Valdebebas, Lopetegui's men came some close to breaking that winless run, as they took the lead twice, but Zidane's side equalised deep into stoppage time. League leaders Real Madrid are just two points ahead of third-placed Sevilla, with Real Sociedad in second.
Both sides ahead into today's match after positive results in Europe in midweek. Real Madrid secured their place in the last 16 with a win against Sheriff in Moldova, while Sevilla picked up their first European win of the season against Wolfsburg and can secure progression with a win against Salzburg. The matches, however, have kept players from both teams out of action. Alaba and Valverde are in the squad for the hosts, while Hazard, Bale and Ceballos miss out.
Both teams won in Europe in midweek
There is more uncertainty for the visitors, as Jesús Navas, En-Nesyri, Suso and Lamela have not travelled, while there are three players who are doubts. As well as Lamela, there are two players who are just one booking away from a suspension and will miss the fixture against Villarreal if they are booked today. Those players are Ivan Rakitic and Fernando Reges.
José María Sánchez Martínez is the referee for today's match, his 17th match in charge of Sevilla. The team have won nine, drawn two and lost five when he has been the referee. In fact, he officiated last season's match between the two sides in Nervión, a 1-0 loss. This season, he took charge of the wins away at Getafe and at home to Valencia. As for Madrid, their record with him is 14 wins, five draws and five losses. This season, he refereed their wins in El Clásico and the 5-2 win at home to Celta. De Burgos Bengoetxea is on VAR duty.