Julen Lopetegui, at the press conference before Atlético Madrid
First team


"Acuña is carrying some discomfort, and we will assess whether or not he will be included in the squad based on how he progresses. Fernando has overcome an illness caught during this break," he said.
Cuerpo Superior

Sevilla FC coach Julen Lopetegui held a press conference at midday on Friday ahead of tomorrow's game against Atlético Madrid at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. The Basque coach began by stressing that "the team is excited to face a top side with a squad capable of winning the Champions League and face the task of playing well. There are different situations with regards to where our players have been the last few weeks, some have come from their respective national teams and others stayed here over the break. We will try to find the best possible line-up to give us the greatest chance of winning."

"Acuña has been carrying some discomfort, we will evaluate whether or not he will be included in the squad based on how he progresses. He picked up a knock against Villarreal and he hasn't shaken it off with Argentina. We'll see if he'll be available or not for tomorrow", he responded when asked about the condition of the left-back.

Cuerpo Inferior

Lopetegui went on to assess Atlético Madrid: "They have an extraordinary squad and with a coach who has been influential and has brought out high performances from his group of players. They take on different styles or roles, a back three, a back four... They are a group of well-structured, world-class players. They have physicality, speed and other attributes in their favour. The most important thing is always the response we are able to give to overcome them and play a good level of football both offensively and defensively."

"We have to grow and improve, we have a difficult yet exciting run of fixtures"

The Sevilla coach spoke about how Marcão and the rest of the team are doing: "Marcão is still injured, without medical clearance. Once he is medically cleared we will assess his fitness. Hopefully, it will be as soon as possible, because then we'll have to wait for him to reach a level of match sharpness. I'm keeping an eye on how everyone is getting on and the enthusiasm they have for competing and winning. We have to grow and improve, we have a difficult yet exciting run of fixtures. We have to be able to give the best response both as a team and as a group."

"The only thing I fear is not getting the three points and I do my best to work to keep the team performing to a high standard. I know the talent we have, I've been here for over three years. The only way to get results is to believe in what you are doing more than ever before, to keep working, be consistent and focus on what is within your control. Now we only focus on the match in front of us against Atlético Madrid. Day by day. Match by match. You can't think about anything other than that," Lopetegui said with regard to tomorrow's game.

"I always want to have the fans with me, they are the ones who never let us down and push us on to do better."

The Sevilla coach had no doubts about the great atmosphere that there will be tomorrow at the Sánchez-Pizjuán: "It will always be tough to play against a team like Sevilla. We always love playing in front of our passionate supporters, they are the ones who never let us down and push us on to do better. Our supporters are always there for us when we are in a tough situation and tomorrow will be no different in that respect. Winning is always important and a win would really give us something to build on."

"Fernando picked up an illness during the break, which he has already recovered from and is now in a position to deliver a solid performance and to help us with his leadership and skill on the pitch," he explained about Fernando's state of health.

"Papu is 100% commited to Sevilla and he is going to show it with his performance on the pitch"

Finally, Lopetegui shared, regarding Papu Gómez, that "statements can be interpreted as selfish. Papu is 100% committed to Sevilla, that's the reality. His statement only speaks of the excitement that a World Cup generates, but until then there is still a long way to go and Sevilla have a lot at stake. We need his commitment and sole focus. He's going to show it with his performance on the pitch, which is the best way he can."