18 February 2019
Encouraged by a 1-0 road win over Lazio in the Europa League, Sevilla now head to the Estadio de la Ceramica to face-off a struggling Villarreal side.
Although the relegation-threatened hosts go into this meeting off the back of a narrow 1-0 triumph over Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, they are still chasing their elusive first La Liga triumph in 2019 (D5, L2). The fact that they’ve failed to wrap up all three points in La Liga over the past two months is the main reason the Yellow Submarine currently trail the safety zone by four points. No Spanish team has picked up fewer wins than Villarreal (3) this term, while only two teams have played out more draws than Javier Calleja’s men (11) so far. Another problem for Calleja is that just one of those three LL triumphs have come at home, with Villarreal entering this round with a stressful five-game LL home winless streak (D3, L2). The Castellon-based outfit is also dealing with a negative -4 goal difference (S13, C17) having failed to preserve a clean slate in 11 of 12 home outings this campaign.
On the other hand, the aforementioned success in the EL has brought Sevilla’s frustrating four-game road losing streak across all competitions to an end and has also seen them keeping a clean sheet away from home for the first time after ten consecutive road clashes. A poor haul of four points in their last five LL fixtures (W1, D1, L3) has brought Los Hispalenses’ Champions League promotion into question considering they now have a narrow one-point lead over fifth-placed Getafe. Another worrying fact for the visitors is that they’ve failed to clinch a victory on eight successive LL road trips (D4, L4). Furthermore, Pablo Machin’s players have struggled to hit the net in their last three LL away games, while the last time they’ve managed to bag 2+ match goals away from home dates back to October.
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