Preview: Real Sociedad vs Sevilla FC
Pre-match reports

SEVILLA FC VISIT THE REALE ARENA, AN OFTEN UNKIND GROUND TO THE CLUB

The Nervionenses have won on just seven of their 61 top-flight trips to San Sebastián. An eighth win would take the side even closer to securing a top-four finish

Relieved of their status as reigning Copa del Rey holders, Real Sociedad host Sevilla FC on Sunday in another key match which will go some way to deciding which teams will compete in Europe next season. As the Basque outfit have not secured European qualification, due to winning last season's cup, they will have to battle hard in their fight for fifth place. From the visitors' perspective, Imanol's side could still finish fourth in the tablebut a loss would leave them 17 points adrift of the Nervionenses with just 21 points left to play for, and with a worse head-to-head record. 

This is the second of three consecutive away matches for the Blanquirrojoswith a trip to Levante on Wednesday bringing that run to a close. They will be looking to stay within reach of the three sides above them, whilst increasing the gap between themselves and the three sides below who could still finish fourth. It will not be easy at Anoeta, renamed the Reale Arena, which traditionally has not been kind to the Sevillistas, who have won just seven of their 61 away matches in the top flight in San Sebastián. Even in the 21st century, past results at Anoeta favour the hosts, who have seven wins and six draws against the Blanquirrojos, who have won on just four occasions. 

Real Sociedad are without key players such as David Silva and Mikel Merino

Regarding team selection, Sergio Escudero and Sergi Gómez are unavailable for the trip to San Sebastián, with Julen Lopetegui naming a 23-man travelling squad. As for the hosts, they will be without IllarramendiAihenDavid SilvaMikel Merino and Sangalli. Merkelanz is a doubt, while Zaldua, Guridi and goalkeeper Moyá could start. Since their Copa del Rey win at La Cartuja two weeks ago, Real Sociedad have drawn both their league matches, against Athletic Club and Valencia CF. In the reverse fixture this season, Sevilla came out on top in an intense encounter, with En-Nesyri scoring a hat-trick in a 3-2 win in Nervión. 

The referee for the Matchday 33 fixture will be Jaime Latre, from Aragón. This will be his first match in charge of either side this season. Carlos Del Cerro Grande was due to referee this encounterbut he is absent due to injury. David Medié Jiménez is on VAR duty. 

Communication Department