The preview of...
Sevilla FC-Athletic Club, Matchday 19 of LaLiga EA Sports. The game kicks off at 19:15 CET at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán and will be broadcast live on DAZN.
Athletic Club come into this match following a fine first half of the season which sees them in 5th position on 35 points, three behind the Champions League spots but three ahead of their big rivals Real Sociedad, who have already played their match this week. We are currently 16th, one point above the relegation zone.
Athletic's last league defeat was as long ago as the 22nd of October - an away match against Barcelona. Their final away match of 2023 saw them held to a 1-1 draw by Granada at the Nuevo Los Cármenes before two successive home victories, against Atlético Madrid and Las Palmas, to finish the year on a high.
The last three Sevilla FC-Athletic Club matches
An injury-time goal by Iñaki Williams gave Athletic their last victory in Nervión. That was in May 2021, a matchday 34 fixture which effectively ended our title hopes. One year later, in the final match of the 2021/22 season, Rafa Mir scored the winner in a 1-0 victory. We finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League while Athletic missed out on the European spots altogether. Last season's match finished 1-1 thanks to goals from Óliver Torres and Mikel Vesga.
Quique Sánchez Flores was able to recall Badé and Nianzou to the matchday squad, having missed the end of 2023 with injury. But many players remain sidelined, including Nyland, Jesús Navas, Acuña, Jordán, Lamela, Lukebakio and Mariano. En-Nesyri is not in the squad having already joined the Moroccan national side for their Africa Cup of Nations campaign. As for Athletic, Valverde has recalled De Marcos and Ruiz de Galarreta but Yeray Álvarez and Dani García are still out. Iñaki Williams has been called up to the Ghana squad and will also miss the match.
This will be our 25th official match officiated by José María Sánchez Martínez. Our record so far sees nine victories, nine losses and six draws. He has already been to Nervión once this season, on the opening day of the campaign in which we lost 2-1 to Valencia. He's been in charge of 19 Athletic Club matches in which they managed eight victories, eight defeats and three draws. Sánchez Martínez took charge of this exact fixture in the 2018/19 season - that ended 2-0 to us. Carlos del Cerro Grande is on VAR duty.