After a win at San Mamés on Wednesday, Atlético Madrid moved up to third in LaLiga, trailing early leaders Barcelona by four points. Currently occupying second place are Atlético’s next opponents, Sevilla.
One of Spain’s oldest clubs, Sevilla have had numerous successes over the years. Domestically, they hold five Copa Del Rey titles, a LaLiga trophy and a Spanish Supercopa. But it’s the Europa League that they’ve really made their own. With five titles since 2006, defeating Liverpool and Benfica amongst others, Sevilla have dominated the tournament.
The Andalusians have made a fine start to LaLiga this year. After a draw with Espanyol on the opening day, Sevilla have notched wins over Getafe, Eibar, Girona and Las Palmas. Atlético will surely provide a sterner test of a promising side.
The transfer window was a busy one for Sevilla, with several high-profile loanees returning to their former clubs. Stevan Jovetić, Samir Nasri and Atleti’s Luciano Vietto and Matías Kranevitter all left the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, with the losses of Yehven Konoplyanka, Vicente Iborra and Vitolo (more on him later) also weakening the squad. Their replacements, including Nolito, Jesús Navas and Luis Muriel, have started well though, and will be hoping to continue their form at the Wanda Metropolitano.
One to watch
French striker Wissam Ben Yedder, now in his second season at Sevilla, has started the season goals against Eibar and Liverpool. A quick, instinctive finisher, the forward will be hoping to forge a dangerous partnership with new teammate Muriel and may better his 18-goal haul of last season.
Aside from a shared love of the Europa League, high-profile meetings between Atlético and Sevilla have been few and far between. The sides last met for a trophy in 2010 as they contested the Copa Del Rey final. Sevilla ran out 2-0 winners at Camp Nou, with goals from Navas and Diego Capel enough to secure victory over Atleti.
There is some bad blood between the sides this season, however. Sevilla and Atleti still may come to blows over the transfer of Vitolo, who became a colchonero in a €37.5m deal in July. After prolonged interest from Diego Simeone, the winger was reported to have agreed a renewal only to sign for Atleti two days later, with a loan agreed to Las Palmas until January. Sevilla fans were not pleased, and neither were the Sevilla board.