Real Madrid vs Sevilla

Real Madrid’s imperious march towards a record-extending 36th La Liga title faces a potential banana skin as they entertain a resurgent Sevilla side at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid’s uneventful 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano last weekend went unpunished. Girona’s loss at Athletic Bilbao earlier this week left Los Blancos six points clear as lone La Liga leaders. Amid speculation linking Kylian Mbappe with a move to the Spanish capital, Carlo Ancelotti is keen to cancel the noise and prepare his depleted squad for this clash. With seven first-team stars, including Jude Bellingham, unavailable, preserving a jaw-dropping 17-game unbeaten league streak at the Bernabeu (W14, D3) could prove tricky. Defensive solidity has highlighted Madrid’s home dominance, as they’ve conceded more than once per home league game only once in 2023/24. That said, Los Merengues are without a clean sheet in their last six La Liga meetings with Sevilla (W4, D2), including a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in October.

On the other hand, Sevilla’s form curve has been on an upward trajectory since January’s Copa del Rey exit, with Quique Sanchez Flores’ side stitching together four La Liga games without losing (W2, D2) to go seven points clear of the bottom three ahead of this round. A 2-1 win at Rayo Vallecano, followed by a scoreless draw against Valencia at Mestalla, puts Los Rojiblancos to the cusp of a three-game unbeaten league streak on the road for the first time this season. However, achieving that feat hinges on ending a disastrous 16-game winless run at the Bernabeu (D1, L15). Indeed, you’d need to go back to 2008 for Sevilla’s last away win against Real Madrid in a match to see their current center-back Sergio Ramos don the famous white shirt.

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