Sevilla v Sociedad – Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán at 19:45 live at Sky Sports
A campaign that promised plenty for Sevilla is eroding fast. Jorge Sampaoli’s side can move level on points with third-placed Atletico Madrid by pocketing maximum points but a disappointing defeat at Malaga on Monday night has put Los Blanquirrojos on the back foot.
Sevilla’s poor run of results on the road (W0-D2-L3) has seen the Andalusians drop-off and it’s true they were far from convincing when recording a third success at home against 10-man Celta Vigo last week.
However, results don’t tell the full story. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan club are in a state of flux following the departure of legendary sporting director Monchi after 17 years of service in the role.
The man who has made the club over €300m in sales – at a profit of more than €200m – has moved to Roma and local press described the side’s recent performances as “exhausted, blocked, frustrated, anxious and depressed about Monchi’s departure”.
But there’s another elephant in the room. Head coach Sampaoli insists he would “die” for Sevilla after refusing to discuss his future before the end of the season but reports in Argentina claim he’ll be unveiled as the new Argentina coach on 22nd May, one day after Sevilla’s final game of the season.
Sampaoli, who was born in Argentina, is under contract with Sevilla until June 2018 but can leave this summer provided his €1.5 million release clause is met. The Argentine FA president went public in his bid to secure Sampaoli’s signature and the deal seems to be all but done.
It’s a hammer blow for Los Blanquirrojos. Earlier this campaign Sampaoli was being described as Liga’s great revelation but his exit, along with Monchi’s, is likely to plunge the club into off-field crisis and that’s only going to impact negatively on the first XI.
Nevertheless, Sevilla showed signs of life on Monday and a return to their formidable home base should spell trouble for Real Sociedad on Friday evening. With Samir Nasri back fit and available, the hosts are close to full-strength.
Sevilla have suffered only one reverse in 16 (W12-D3-L1) at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and have won 27 of their past 36 La Liga fixtures at this venue. Returns like that make the 1.77 available on Los Blanquirrojos beating the -0.50 Asian Handicap very appealing here.
After their own sticky patch, Real Sociedad have returned to form with three wins on the spin but their record at Spain’s leading lights leaves a lot to be desired. La Real have W1-D0-L7 at top-half teams this term, shipping two or more goals on five occasions and failing to score in four.
Considering Sevilla have seen off all other top-half teams other than table-topping Barcelona and Villarreal, backing a home success is the avenue to attack here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Sevilla -0.5 Asian Handicap (1.77)
Prices correct at time of writing.