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Spanish Primera BBVA

El Madrigal (ATT 20,000) 10th September 2011 - Kick off 17:00 Ref: F Teixeira Vitienes

Villarreal Villarreal vs Sevilla Sevilla

Villarreal 2

D Lopez (S/O 21)
G Rossi (pen 34)
M Ruben (72)


Sevilla 2

A Negredo (23)
Alexis (86)

Villarreal v Sevilla preview

By Kristian Walsh - @Kristian_Walsh.   Last Updated: 09/09/11 5:25pm

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Negredo: Sharp shooter for Sevilla

Negredo: Sharp shooter for Sevilla

El Madrigal will host two sides harbouring similar ambitions for UEFA Champions League qualification, but with two very different starts to this season's campaign.


Villarreal 11/10, Sevilla 12/5, Draw 12/5. Bet now

Villarreal were annihilated by breathtaking Barcelona, punch-drunk at half time, out for the count 45 minutes later. Rossi and Nilmar worked tirelessly up front, while Bruno and Borja toiled in the midfield, but the Yellow Submarine sank without trace at the Camp Nou.

The club could be forgiven for writing off the Barcelona result, but not manager Juan Garrido. Garrido recruited two new faces on deadline day - Ikechukwu Uche from Real Zaragoza and Jonathan De Guzman from Mallorca. While Uche has been sent to Granada on loan, De Guzman, who scored for Mallorca on the opening day, is expected to slot straight into the midfield.

Villarreal will be hoping their home form from last season carries into this one. They lost just three games last season, thanks, in part, to the pairing of Rossi and Nilmar. It was Nilmar who scored the winner for Villarreal in this corresponding fixture last season, one of his 10 in the league last year.

But that Sevilla is a different one to this. Eight of their 18 man squad who lost to Villarreal last season are no longer at the club.

After numerous managerial changes over the past 18 months, the road to stability for Sevilla started well with a 2-1 win over nuevo riche Malaga.

Marcelino Garcia Toral's men were superb, showing excellent attacking intent and supplying Alvaro Negredo handsomely. Negredo scored twice in the opening 30 minutes with Navas and Perotti providing the final pass.

Whether Toral will opt for a similarly attacking line-up away from home remains to be seen. Against Malaga, the side relied on Chilean hard man Gary Medel to stop the opposition in midfield, but Medel is a fitness doubt after suffering a hamstring injury. The 24-year-old has resumed full training but it remains to be seen whether he'll be risked.

Villarreal were the best home starters in the league last season, leading at half time in 12 of their 19 matches, meaning Sevilla could stifle them during the opening exchanges, bringing a more defensive-minded body in midfield alongside Medel if he's passed fit.

But Sevilla are no strangers to a fast, frantic start either, winning six games away at half time last season - the same amount of games they won away after 90 minutes. They'll also know a victory here will give a huge boost to their top four aspirations, while a defeat for Villarreal could see their season over before it's even started.

Best Bet: Over 1.5 goals at half time - 7/4

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 33 82
2 Real Madrid 33 79
3 Barcelona 33 78
4 Athletic Bilbao 33 62
5 Sevilla 33 56
6 Villarreal 33 52
7 Real Sociedad 33 51
8 Valencia 33 44
9 Espanyol 33 41
10 Levante 33 40
11 Malaga 33 38
12 Celta Vigo 33 37
13 Granada 33 37
14 Rayo Vallecano 33 37
15 Elche 33 35
16 Osasuna 33 34
17 Real Valladolid 33 32
18 Getafe 33 31
19 Almeria 33 30
20 Real Betis 33 22