These are the weeks when the action really heats up. Without any time to celebrate the cup win, the draw for the next round had already taken place. In the middle of all that, there's the small matter of La Liga to contend with at the weekends. The team with the best away record in the top flight this season fell to defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu last time out; but, despite last week's result away from home, it's at their own stomping ground where they haven't won their last two league matches. After getting beat by Villarreal CF, and the bittersweet point at home to Athletic Club in the first game of 2020, Sevilla FC have to win this evening.
Tonight's opponent is a Granada CF side who surprised many with their start to the season. After having just come up from the second tier, they carried on their good form from last season as they reached the top ends of the table early on in this league season. However, after the season calmed down a bit and the demands of the competition settled in, the team fell slightly and now sit in a very comfortable tenth place. In addition, things haven't been going too well for them as the away side recently, having lost in each of their past six away games. it's a statistic which they will be determined to put an end to, along with the fact that in the last four of said games away from the Nuevo Los Cármenes, they haven't even been able to find the back of the net.
Granada are on a run of 6 away defeats and 4 without scoring
It's a Granada side who come to Seville with a lot of familiar faces on show, and that's not even including their manager. Although Carlos Fernández, on loan from Sevilla to Granada, will not be in the squad tonight due to a suspension, Martínez, Víctor Díaz, Yan Eteki and Gonalons could all feature. Their centre-back Germán Sánchez is also out tonight, after both the Competition and the Appeals board dismissed their request to have his red card against FC Barcelona rescinded. In addition, the Turkish international Ismail Koybasi, who picked up an injury in a Copa del Rey game, joins their list of absentees alongside Fede Vico, Ángel Montoro, Joaquín Marín 'Quini' and Neyder Lozano. Someone who does come into the matchday squad is their most recent arrival, centre-back Jesús Vallejo; who joined on loan from Real Madrid after cutting short his loan spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Diego Martínez will not have the Sevillista, Carlos Fernández, at his disposal; but will have their recent recruit Vallejo in the squad
Sevilla, who are sitting in fourth place at the moment on 35 points - the same number as third placed Atlético - know the demands of the match and have it clear that they need to fend off the chasing pack (Getafe, Real Sociedad and Valencia) for those Champions League places. Furthermore, Sevilla might have to take advantage of the fact that Granada had to play their cup match during the week a day later, and had to play extra time to get past Badalona. That being said, and although the squad will not be known until later on, there are definitely three players who won't be involved: Jordán, Carriço and Bono (although the latter might have a chance of making it if he recovers in good time). In addition to the ones mentioned, the team will also be without Éver Banega who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the Bernabéu, and therefore will sit out tonight's game.
Alejandro Hernández Hernández will be the man in charge tonight. He has taken charge of two Sevilla games this year already, both which were away from home at the Mendizorroza and the Benito Villamarín (both which turned out in victories for Lopetegui's men). He hasn't taken charge of a Granada game since the last match of the 2016/17 season.