Last Sunday, Real Madrid went back to where they want to be at the end of the season: To the top of La Liga.
This Sunday, they will face a tough challenge to stay at the summit as they welcome Sevilla to the Santiago Bernabéu in a top-of-the -table clash.
Real’s 4-1 victory at Granada on Sunday took the La Liga giants to 30 points – one more than Real Sociedad, who were held to a goalless draw by Valencia. Sevilla are third in the table with 28 points and go into the game in the Spanish capital knowing that a victory will take them above their opponents.
Much of Real’s success has been built on the scoring prowess of French striker Karim Benzema, who managed 10 goals in 12 games and Brazilian left winger Vinícius Júnior, who found the net eight times in 13 games.
The only other player who has scored more than once is Marco Asensio, who has scored three goals.
Real’s goal tally this season so far is 32 goals – nine more than Sevilla, who have scored the second-most in the league with 23.
Sunday’s match thus sees the league’s strongest attack (Real) facing one of the league’s strongest defences, as Sevilla have conceded just nine goals – second only to Bilbao, who have conceded one goal less.
Sevilla are coached by former Real coach Julen Lopetegui, and the former goalkeeper has entrusted the position between the posts to Canadian-born Bono, who is in his third season with the club.
He is one of three current Moroccan internationals in the Sevilla ranks, with Munir El Haddadi and Youssef En-Nesyri also having been included in the latest Moroccan squad.
In front of Bono, central defenders Jules Koundé and Diego Carlos, as well as Marcos Acuña (left) and Jesús Navas (right) are tasked with preventing their opponents from scoring.
Sevilla would have been on equal points with Real had they not been held to a 2-2 draw at home against Alaves on the weekend, but Bono said they would take something from that match going forward.
“We are aware that it is a game that helps us to improve in the future and take out that anger that we saw in the team at the end, then transform it into something positive for what is to come,” he said.
Although the Real versus Sevilla match is bound to grab most of the headlines this matchday, there will be some interest in Barcelona’s trip to Villarreal, to see if Barça coach Xavi can make it two wins out of two.
Football fans are likely to be keen to watch both games – and luckily for them, they can do so by tuning in to the TopStar’s ST sports channels live and in HD.