Only a miracle can really help Seville

Defeat, hopelessness, lack of fans and a wave of injuries – an impossible situation for the defending Europa League champions.

As in most groups, even in the B quartet there are still some questions to be decided, but not among the BL runners-up. Arsenal are top of the group, PSV are second, so the only question is whether Lens or Sevilla will qualify for the Europa League. If the Spaniards win, they can defend their title, otherwise the French will be happy. Let’s see the odds!

For both teams, finishing 3rd could be a saving grace, so there is no question of them being down on the prospect of qualifying for the European Champions League. Even if it is not a huge financially, it is not negligible in terms of prestige, as the French rarely experience cup success, while Sevilla are the reigning champions of the series.

Given that the sides are unlikely to challenge for a place in the Champions League, they may well have such a long-term goal, although Lens are showing improving form in Ligue 1. Lens, who have 22 points from their last ten league games, are marching towards the top half of the table, although they have still failed to beat PSV-Arsenal in the BL.

Although the home side are also missing, they are still in a much better position than Sevilla, who are in incredibly poor form in this respect. The change of manager has not helped the Andalusians, with manager Diego Alonso unable to perform miracles or even get Sevilla back to a decent level.

Sevilla have won only two games since 26 September, both against teams from many other leagues. True, there are many draws on the scoreline, and the defending Europa League champions are unlikely to have any relegation problems, but something has to change in Sevilla – and for that to happen, they need a result that has not happened this season, which means winning important away games.

Kiev, Ukraine – February 22, 2018: Official UEFA Champions League 2018 season ball (Adidas Final Kiev) during UEFA Champions League game at NSC Olimpiyskyi stadium on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine, close-up

But speaking of absentees… Suso and Lamela are injured, Ocampos and Fernando are suspended, while Mariano Díaz, Nianzou, Jesús Navas, Badé and Acuna are all question marks, so it’s a bit of a mystery even for the Uruguayan manager who he will send out on Tuesday night.

Sevilla’s task is made even more difficult by the fact that the French government has banned visiting fans from entering the country due to a series of fan disturbances, so on paper only Lens fans will be in the stadium.

Although Alonso has repeatedly said in recent weeks that his team is capable of more and that sooner or later everyone will have to see it on the track, the breakthrough is still a long way off. Even with the likes of En-Nesyri, Rakitic, Mir or Gudelj in the starting line-up, Sevilla are unable to play quality and, above all, effective football.

We expect a difficult match, where the gates will not be under fire as much this time. Both teams have very few chances in the BL, and although 9 shots hit the goal in the first leg, we don’t expect that this time. Sevilla should take the initiative, but it’s far from certain that they’ll be in with a minute to go, so cautious French football will show itself in few shots.

✅ Prediction #1: Lens Under 4.5 shots on target @ 2.10

✅ Prediction #2: Under 26.5 total shots @ 1.70

Only a miracle can really help Seville

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