Sevilla FC's Banega against Sigma Olomouc
Pre-match reports


After five victories which have brought them to the most important match of them all, Sevilla are playing tonight at home against Sigma Olomouc their return to the UEFA Europa League Group Stage. With a demanding La Liga and the need to keep players involved, Pablo Machín will continue to rotate the team without losing sight of the main objective.

Since securing seventh place in the league in May, Sevilla knew they would have an extra month of competition in summer and six matches to reach the Europa League Group Stage for the eighth time since the trophy's new format established in 2004/2005. Never before has it been so costly to reach this round which has required this incredible effort over the summer. The team has arrived at this match thanks to their five wins against Újpest, Zalgiris, and the 1-0 win over Sigma Olomouc. However, 90 minutes remain - assuming no extra time - to assure Sevilla of their place and there is no room for distractions.

It's true that el Gran Derbi is looming, and as much as Pablo Machín has made clear that it is not yet on their focus, the match is always a big event in the city. Furthermore, the closing of the transfer market could divert attention away from matches. That said, however, the first leg against Sigma showed the respect that they deserve. In a match in which the central European team could have easily scored, Pablo Sarabia's strike brought an excellent result, but not yet definitive, back to Sevilla.

The first leg against Sigma showed the respect that they deserve

Additionally, however without giving away too many details, Machín said that he will continue to divide minutes between the team as he has been doing since the team has had to play two matches a week. Sergio Escudero and Amadou will definitely be out of this match, while Machín knows he cannot count on them for the weekend either. Therefore, it is likely that Arana will appear at left wing-back, while players like Berrocal, who dropped down to the B-team on Sunday to play Ibiza, could return to the team. Other than that, it remains to be seen who the manager prefers to keep fresh for the battle in the Benito Villmarín.



Regarding the Czech team, who arrived last evening in Sevilla and trained in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán that night, their manager, Vaclav Jilek, is in a difficult situation - he has been trying to combine their complicated situation in the league with the historical chance of reaching the group stages of the Europa League. Judging by the starting XI against Jablonec on Sunday, against whom they were convincingly defeated 3-0, it seems that Jilek is not resigned to throwing in the towel against Sevilla. He left important players on his bench, like Sladky, Falta, and Nespor, who will all most likely return to action tonight.

Jilek kept important players on the bench on Sunday against Jablonec, like Sladky, Falta and Nespor

This will be the third European night in the Sánchez-Pizjuán this season and Sigma's fifth visit to Spain. It must be said that none of their previous results would have progressed them to the group stages as they picked up three defeats and a draw. Neither will the scorelines obtained by their previous compatriots - Slavia Prague were defeated in the 07/08 Champions League 4-2, while Slovan Liberec came away with a draw in the 13/14 Europa Leauge.

The referee will be the Romanian István Kovács who will be refereeing both teams for the first time. His last performance was in Burnley's win against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Third Qualifying Round.

Communication Department