Six-times UEFA Europa League champions Sevilla have genuine problems. Hammered 6-1 away against Atletico Madrid, they are now staring into the abyss of possible relegation from LaLiga, while head coach Jorge Sampaoli is facing the threat of being fired.
Ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, Sevilla were tipped as contenders for the top four in LaLiga, having qualified for the Champions League in each of their last three campaigns. Yet now they face a genuine battle to avoid relegation, seemingly ill-equipped to confront the rigors of battling at the wrong end of the table. What’s more, this is a fight for survival that includes the entire bottom half of LaLiga, with just 6 points between 11th and 18th positions.
Based upon the latest expert reviews covering top betting sites online, highlighting where the most competitive odds and offers can be located, punters would certainly be wise to evaluate all the options available. Despite the most recent humiliation, Sevilla continue to be priced as outsiders in the relegation scrap, although those odds may soon begin to tumble if they continue losing with such frequency.
Shipping six goals against Atletico Madrid is hardly inspiring for Sevilla, who face direct rivals in the bottom half of LaLiga over the coming weeks. But some observers claim their struggles were always likely, having sold colossal centre-backs Diego Carlos to Aston Villa and Jules Koundé to Barcelona, without signing replacements of sufficient calibre. The habitual defensive strength is gone, while the team is now led by an attacking-minded coach.
Coincidentally, when Sevilla were beaten 2-0 at home by Atletico Madrid last October, then 4-1 against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish club decided to relieve Julen Lopetegui of his managerial duties. He didn’t have to wait long to secure alternative employment, promptly hired by Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers just a month later.
Immediately after Lopetegui was fired, Sevilla turned to Jorge Sampaoli, the experienced manager who previously led the team to 4th position in LaLiga during the 2016-17 campaign, before he left after just one season to become head coach of the Argentina national team. Unfortunately for Los Nervionenses, the second coming of Sampaoli has been fraught with difficulties.
Sampaoli failed to coax winning results from the team during the remainder of 2022, although there was an upturn in form at the beginning of 2023, when Sevilla won 4 of their 6 LaLiga games in January and February. At long last, it seemed this team had finally turned the corner, although those hopes quickly evaporated. Sevilla were held away at Rayo Vallecano, then suffered a painful defeat at home against Osasunase, prior to the thrashing by Atletico Madrid.
Not without some irony, the most cherished competition for Sevilla could indicate whether Sampaoli is given more time. Their next contest is at home against Fenerbahçe in the UEFA Europa League, and another defeat could see the Argentinian coach fired, almost mirroring the same fate that befell his predecessor. Only victory against the Turkish side would raise morale, heading into an incredibly difficult domestic run of games in LaLiga.
Right now, most Sevilla fans will gladly take survival in LaLiga, above and beyond further progress in the UEFA Europa League, regardless of their established love affair with the competition. But regardless of how the supporters may feel, the possible dismissal of Sampaoli will not be a decision taken lightly by his club, according to local media outlet Estadio Deportivo. They believe he will be given more time to turn things around.
However, this hasn’t prevented the inevitable discussion about potential replacements, if or when Sevilla decide to call time on Sampaoli’s tenure. José Bordalás is one of the names being touted, while the former Getafe and Valencia boss was already under consideration, when the club fired Lopetegui earlier in the season. Relegation from LaLiga would be disastrous for such a prominent club, so any forthcoming decisions may be pivotal.