Sevilla celebrate scoring away against Real Sociedad
Pre-match reports

SOCIEDAD TEST AWAITS AS SEVILLA SEEK STRONG FINISH

Sevilla aim to consolidate their bid for Champions League football at home against in-form Sociedad

Sevilla host Real Sociedad on Friday night looking to return to winning ways in their hunt for third place in LaLiga.

Jorge Sampaoli’s side were beaten 4-2 away against Malaga on Monday evening and Sociedad present another tough test at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

Eusebio Sacristán’s side are a run of three consecutive wins which has propelled the Basque outfit to 7th place in LaLiga, seven points adrift of Sevilla who remain in 4th on 68 points.

Sevilla have now been in the top four for 32 of the 35 LaLiga matchdays this season.

The Txuriurdin have recorded one win less than Jorge Sampaoli’s side this season with 19, but indifferent form on the road has cost them over the course of the campaign as the only team to have not recorded a draw away from Anoeta.

Sevilla can count on a superior record between the two teams in the last ten encounters, with seven wins – the latest of which was a 4-0 victory back in January – and only two defeats.

The Basque side have been hot and cold playing away in LaLiga, with a record of 9 wins and 8 losses, scoring 26 and conceding 26 in the process.

None of those 9 away victories, however, have come against the sides currently in the European spaces; Eusebio’s side lost at Villarreal (2-1), Athletic Club (3-2), Madrid (3-0), Atlético (1-0) and Barcelona (3-2).

They have exhibited a certain defensive fragility at times, conceding 48 goals in total, although along with Madrid they have let in the joint-lowest number of goals (8) from set pieces.

Ben Yedder’s hat-trick and a goal from Sarabia secured a resounding 0-4 win for Jorge Sampaoli’s side in the reverse fixture at Anoeta, and Sevilla will be looking to get the three points in an equally convincing manner when they line up against Sociedad on Friday night.

In terms of the goal threat that the Sevilla defence will be up against, Williams José is the Basque side’s top scorer with 12 goals this campaign.

He is followed by Juanmi (10), Carlos Vela (8) and Xabi Prieto (7), who along with the top scorer have netted 37 of their sides 54 goals. Sevilla will need to be aware of the aerial threat posed by Williams José, who has scored 7 of his 12 goals with his head.

The Brazilian Williams José is out, but Vela, Prieto and Juanmi are in Eusebio's squad. Without their top scorer, the Basque side may opt for a different approach, but with Nasri and Vitolo back in the squad, Sevilla should be confident that they can break down the Sociedad defence.

Communication Department