Sevilla will be bidding to secure their first victory of the 2022-23 La Liga season when they make the trip to Power Horse Stadium on Saturday night to face Almeria.
Julen Lopetegui‘s side have only picked up one point from their opening two matches against Osasuna and Real Valladolid, while Almeria have also collected one point from their first two games.
Almeria were promoted back to La Liga for the first time since 2014-15 due to their impressive 2021-22 campaign, which saw them win the Segunda Division with a total of 81 points from 42 matches.
La Union were handed a tough test on the opening weekend of the new season, welcoming the champions Real Madrid, but they put in an impressive performance and only lost 2-1 to Carlo Ancelotti‘s side.
Almeria managed to pick up their first point of the season against Elche on Monday, with Umar Sadiq‘s 23rd-minute effort cancelled out by Alex Collado as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.
Rubi‘s side will be determined to put their first win on the board as soon as possible, and they have some important matches on the horizon, with Real Valladolid, Osasuna and Mallorca their opponents over the next few weeks, which are the type of games that could determine whether they remain in the league.
Almeria will be the underdogs heading into Saturday’s contest, and they have not managed to overcome Sevilla in Spain’s top flight since December 2010, which is an indication of the size of their task in this fixture.
Sevilla, meanwhile, have made an underwhelming start to the campaign, only picking up one point from their opening two matches, which has left them down in 12th position in the table.
Lopetegui’s side suffered a 2-1 loss to Osasuna in their first game on August 12 before being held to a 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid last time out; Sevilla were actually 1-0 behind until the 86th minute of the match, with Karim Rekik securing a late point.
Los Nervionenses were fourth in La Liga last season, only three points behind second-placed Barcelona, but the early indications are that they could struggle to enjoy a similar campaign, with some important players moving on in the shape of Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos.
Tanguy Nianzou, Marcao, Isco and Alex Telles have arrived to boost the squad, though, and a victory on Saturday would certainly boost their confidence ahead of the clash with Barcelona at the start of September.
Sevilla are working to improve their squad before the end of the transfer window, and it would not be a surprise to see more players arrive before the deadline, with the club again set to operate in the Champions League during the 2022-23 campaign.
Almeria will again be without the services of Ivan Martos and Juanjo Nieto through injury, while Alex Centelles is suspended due to his red card against Elche.
Rubi’s side did not pick up any fresh issues in their last game, though, and it would not be a surprise to see close to the same XI for the contest with Sevilla.
Sadiq, who was on the scoresheet against Elche, is expected to be joined by Largie Ramazani in the final third of the field, while Lucas Robertone should again be in the starting side.
As for Sevilla, Suso is pushing to return to the squad following a fitness issue, but Jesus Corona remains on the sidelines for the visitors through injury.
Lopetegui’s side will be without the services of Marcos Acuna following his red card against Real Valladolid last time out, which should open the door for Telles to start at left-back.
Rafa Mir is again expected to lead the line, with Erik Lamela playing off the left, but there could be a change in the final third, with Lucas Ocampos set to come into the XI.
Nianzou and Rekik played as the two central defenders last time out and that is again expected to be the case here, but Jesus Navas could come into the side at right-back.
Almeria possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Ely, Babic, Kaiky; Chumi, Robertone, Eguaras, Costa, Akieme; Sadiq, Ramazani
Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bono; Navas, Rekik, Nianzou, Telles; Gomez, Fernando, Delaney; Lamela, Mir, Ocampos