Real Madrid and Sevilla have away games in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but the needs of both clubs are very different.
Real Madrid travel to face Shahktar Donetsk in a game that will be played in Poland knowing that a win would give them 12 points from their first four group games and all-but assure their place in the knockout stage of the tournament as group winners.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is still without injured Lucas Vazquez, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is struggling with a back problem, but he will bring Karim Benzema back into the side after resting the Frenchman in Saturday’s win in Getafe.
Shahktar proved to be a solid rival in the Santiago Bernabeu last week, digging deep to only lose 2-1 after conceding early goals to Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr and they know that a win would give a huge boost to their options of reaching the last 16.
With the ‘Clasico’ on the horizon against FC Barcelona on Saturday, Ancelotti will no doubt look to sit deep and play on the break and if his side can assure a win and then conserve energy, then so much the better, reports Xinhua.
Things are completely different with Sevilla, whose Champions League future looks bleak with just one point from a possible nine, and realistically they need a win to have any chance of reaching the knockout stage.
Dortmund won 4-1 in Seville last week in Julen Lopetegui’s last game in change and although his replacement, Jorge Sampaoli led a tentative reaction on Saturday at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, there is still a lot of work to do.
Sampaoli dropped key players such as Ivan Rakitic, Marcos Acuna and Bono on Saturday and it will be interesting to see if they come back into the side and whether Sevilla can sustain their aggressive start at the weekend for longer.
The gas lasted barely 20 minutes against Athletic and if they are to at least have a chance of making the Europa League, Sevilla have to improve.