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Villarreal host Sevilla in a key battle for European football

Villarreal host Sevilla in a key battle for European football

Sevilla will travel to Vila-real on Sunday evening to take on Villarreal in a game that could end up playing a key part in deciding which teams qualify for Europe from La Liga for next season.

At the moment these sides are sixth and fifth in La Liga and are separated by just one point with Sevilla holding a slight edge at the moment. Villarreal come into the game in excellent form with just one defeat in their last 11 games.

The sole defeat came in the Copa del Rey when they lost 1-0 to Ponferradina but they will get an opportunity to put that right in the second leg this midweek. Villarreal have a very good home record and in fact they have conceded just one home goal in La Liga which is the best record in the division.

If Villarreal are going to extend their recent good form they will have to do so without Ruben Semedo, Denis Cheryshev, Samu Castillejo, Andres Fernandez, Daniele Bonera and Leo Suarez who are all injured for Sunday’s game but in recent weeks they have relied on Rodri, Cedric Bakambu and Pablo Fornals to pick up results and they should all be in the starting eleven on Sunday.

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Sevilla come into the game a point ahead of Villarreal but their away form has been poor in La Liga with two wins and four defeats in their six games away from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

However, there overall form has improved of late and they have lost just once in their last six games after a run of three consecutive defeats last month. In midweek they produced an excellent second half display to come from 3-0 down at half time to earn a 3-3 draw with Liverpool in the Champions League.

As big as the comeback against Liverpool was the result was overshadowed some what by the news that Eduardo Berizzo is battling cancer. Berizzo will be expected to be on the sideline on Sunday and like his opposite number he has his own injury concerns ahead of the game. Simon Kjaer, Daniel Carrico, Sergio Escudero and Nico Pareja are all out injured and will miss the trip to Vila-real.

This game is still quite early in the season but both these sides will believe that they can qualify for Europe next season and possibly even the Champions League.

There’s only a point between the sides at present and it’s unlikely that there will be much of a gap between them at any point this season so this game will no doubt play an important part in how things end up this season and may even be considered an old fashioned six pointer.