It feels like a midweek trip to the dentist for Julen Lopetegui - it's often not a pleasant experience. Ahead of a Madrid derby against neighbours Atlético, the new manager could have hoped for a slightly kinder match but instead has to prepare his team for an encounter in Sevilla, at the Sánchez Pizjuán, where Los Blancos have not fared well.
Madrid's Sevillian struggle
At the vocipherous home of Los Hispalenses, Madrid have lost five of their last visits, the only triumph coming in the 2014/15 season as they edged a five-goal thriller. That exception aside, the capital club have only tasted LaLiga defeat in the Pizjuán stretching back to, and including, the 2012/13 campaign. To this record we can add the 2016/17 Copa del Rey fixture in which only a Karim Benzema last gasp goal gained Madrid a 3-3 draw.
🗣️ @pablomachindiez is well aware of the important role that our fans will have tomorrow in #SevillaFCRealMadrid.— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) 25 September 2018
The press conference in full ➡️ https://t.co/vWLhw3SXbg#vamosmisevilla#WeNeverSurrender 💪🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/mzIfMwoLck
Historically, Sevilla away is one of the games where Madrid have a poor return. They have only won 31.1% of the games there, less than at Valencia's Mestalla (31.3%) and Athletic's San Mamés (35.6%). Only Barcelona's Camp Nou (22.7%) has been more problematic for Madrid wins. Across the 74 games that have been contested between Sevilla and Madrid in the capital of Andalusia, the visitors have a reecord of 23 wins, 36 losses and 15 draws.
Pablo Machín's side lie ninth in LaLiga Santander on seven points ahead of this match with two wins, two losses and one draw to their name. On Saturday they will travel to Eibar who currently share the same points tally.