Around three weeks ago, Numancia looked set to book their place in the play-offs; they were unbeaten in five, four of which they’d won, and the only direction that they appeared to be heading was forward. However, having failed to win any of their last three, two of which they’ve lost, Jagoba Arrasate’s men come into this penultimate round of fixtures a point outside of the play-off places. With several teams still in with a chance of finishing inside the top six, it is imperative that the visitors take maximum points from this fixture.
In stark contrast, Sevilla Atletico aren’t challenging for anything at this stage, as their season has long since been done and dusted. The hosts come into this match having propped the division up for most of the campaign and they are indeed on their way down. Recent form has improved slightly with them winning two of the last five, though if Numancia turn it on and play as they ought to, then the hosts are unlikely to make much headway.
Quite simply, if Numancia are at their best on Sunday, then they walk all over the floundering side that is Sevilla Atletico. However, form on the road has often eluded Sunday’s visitors. Their defeat against lowly Lorca in their most recent away match showed that Numancia are a tad vulnerable, while they’re not exactly handling the pressure very well at present.
The hosts may be a side on their way out of the league, but this is a decent opportunity for them to have a go at a wounded animal. Having scored in each of their last two at home, as well as in four of their last five in front of a home crowd at Viejo Nervión, Sevilla will probably be feeling upbeat about their chances of breaching a Numancia side who’re without a clean sheet in three matches.
However, Sevilla Atletico have struggled massively to keep teams out this season, even on their own patch. The hosts arrive at this juncture having conceded in 75% of their home matches.
Numancia will have to get on the front foot on Sunday, though such tactics can hinder as well as help the visitors. By putting a weak back-line under pressure, the play-off chasers should find attacking joy, though they’ll leave themselves open at the back as a result, just as they did away at Lorca recently. They should have the quality to get the job done, though, with the way things are, they’ll probably have to score a few goals to come out on top.
All things considered, with the visitors, who are the superior side, looking nervy at the back and with the way this fixture is likely to turn into quite an open one, ‘Both Teams to Score’ stands out.
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Numancia did win this season’s reverse fixture, by three goals to nil, but that was their first ever win against Sevilla Atletico, who had won two of the previous four renewals.
Both Jose Amo and Carlos Fernandez are out for the hosts, though they have no fresh concerns.
The visitors will continue to be without a few players on Sunday. Luis Valcarce and Alberto Escassi are both out injured, while Munir, Pere Milla and Carlos Gutierrez are all suspended.