In normal times, something which unfortunately is still very far away, this Thursday would have been an incredibly special day. After two months, Sevilla FC return to the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán as six-time Europa League champions. And although in Cádiz the team received a guard of honour, tonight the fans would have been able to give the Heroes from Cologne the reception they deserve. It will not be the case however, as football continues to be behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. Julen Lopetegui's team will be contesting their seventeenth match now without the fans.
Interestingly, in none of those matches has Sevilla tasted defeat, extending their unbeaten run since February to 16 matches. In that run, Sevilla have already come up against Levante, although that time it was away from home. That is not the only time the teams have faced off since then - they came up against each other in a friendly two weeks ago during Sevilla's training camp at San Pedro del Pinatar.
The teams came up against each other in a friendly two weeks ago, with Sevilla coming back from 2-0 down to win
For Lopetegui, what happened in the friendly will have nothing to do with what happens on the pitch tonight with points at stake. After starting the season off positively at the Ramón de Carranza, Sevilla will need to keep that momentum going at home. The only injury doubts are the two youth graduates, Bryan Gil and Carlos Fernández. Levante arrive to the match without the services of Hernani and Sergio León.
Levante, who have taken three of the six points available to them, fell to defeat twice at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán last season, 1-0 in the league and 3-1 in the cup. Tonight's referee will be the Catalan Xavier Estrada Fernández. The Catalan has refereed 27 Sevilla matches, 14 of them ending in wins. Last season he refereed the 1-1 draw in Pamplona and the 3-0 win at Getafe.