Europa League preview: Real Betis remain the underdogs against Sevilla, says Cedrick
Last Updated: 19/03/14 1:13pm
Cedrick: Real Betis the underdogs against Sevilla
Real Betis forward Cedrick claims his side are still underdogs heading into their Europa League last-16 second leg against arch rivals Sevilla, despite holding a 2-0 lead from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Sevilla were firm favourites going into last week's first leg at home, with Unai Emery's side the form team in La Liga and Betis well adrift at the foot of the Primera Division standings.
However, despite dominating for much of the match, Sevilla ended up suffering a potentially decisive defeat following goals from Leo Baptistao and Salva Sevilla.
That has left the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners facing a huge challenge to reach the quarter-finals - no Sevilla side has ever recovered from losing a first leg at home to win a European tie - but Betis' Congolese winger Cedrick is taking nothing for granted.
He told www.abcdesevilla.es: "Sevilla continue being the favourites. They were before the first leg and still have the same role because the tie isn't over. We are very humble.
"We're going to go out the same. The advantage we have could give us a bit of calm, but derbies are different, unique."
The 22-year-old could just be trying to ease the expectation on his side by claiming Sevilla are favourites but, as he points out, being under pressure is nothing new to the Verdiblancos, who have been fighting for their Primera Division lives for much of the campaign.
"We've spent the whole season playing with pressure. We have respect but we don't fear anybody. It's a special game, but nothing more," added Cedrick, who insists their main aim for the coming months remains trying to stay up.
"It's nice for us to get so far in Europe. We can be happy for that but we have a responsibility in the league and we're suffering.
"We have to accept that and continue working. The season will not be fixed if we get through (in the Europa League), only if we stay up. We would be much happier if we stay in the Primera Division."
Sevilla responded from their first-leg loss with a convincing 4-1 home win over Real Valladolid at the weekend.
That was their fourth successive league victory and saw them move to within eight points of Athletic Bilbao in fourth spot.
The chance to return to the Champions League next season is an exciting one for Sevilla, but on-loan forward Marko Marin has not yet given up hope of extending their European adventure this term.
The Germany international won the Europa League with Chelsea last season, and he said on his club's website: "I want it again. To win a title is a dream for a player. We had chances in the first leg. Now we need to create more and make the most of them."
Marin has also taken encouragement from the reaction of the Sevilla fans following the match against Valladolid, saying: "What we saw at the end of Sunday's game was amazing. These fans are incredible.
"Their songs have made us believe even more in the comeback and I don't think there is any player or fan who doesn't believe it."
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