Pre-Match Report

Preview: Sevilla v Arsenal

Sevilla v Arsenal

Our Champions League journey takes us to Seville on Tuesday as we tackle the reigning Europa League holders, aiming to wrestle back control of the group after defeat in Lens earlier this month.

To do so, we’ll have to win our first Champions League away game since December 2016 when we beat Basel 4-1, while we’ve lost five of our last six away to Spanish sides (W1). However a trip to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan could be what we need, with Sevilla only victorious in two of their last nine home games in this competition.

While they have been supremely successful in Europe since the turn of the century, Los Palanganas have found fixtures against English sides tough, winning just two of their last nine. They’ll be hoping that the recent appointment of Diego Alonso as manager can help them improve that record, as well as improve their poor start to the La Liga campaign.

Alonso at the wheel

Sevilla celebrate scoring against Real Madrid

Having employed three managers last season, Sevilla are already on their second this term. Despite guiding his team to a seventh Europa League triumph in 16 years, eight points from their opening eight league games saw Jose Luis Mendilibar replaced by former Uruguay coach Diego Alonso, who drew 1-1 with Real Madrid in his first game on Saturday.

Draws have been the name of the game in Europe too. A promising display against Manchester City in the UEFA Super Cup earned a 1-1 scoreline after 90 minutes, but a penalty shootout loss saw them miss out on the trophy for the sixth successive time, while they have taken two points from their opening two Champions League group games. 

Lucas Ocampos handed them the lead against Lille on matchday one, only for the French side to strike back midway through the half and clinch a point. Sevilla then led PSV 2-1 going into stoppage-time thanks to goals from Nemanja Gudelj and Youssef En-Nesyri, but a 95th-minute equaliser from Jordan Teze saw the victory slip away.

Find out much more about Sevilla, including their history, the stadium and their current squad.

Group standings














































What the managers say

Diego Alonso

Alonso: "Having not won in the two opening games of the competition, we need a win. Tomorrow we have that opportunity and we are ready for it. We'll have to work our socks off for the whole 90 minutes. We're facing a great team, but we're ready.

"Motivating others should be organic. We are fully focused on tomorrow's game on tomorrow's game only. We will do our best to claim the three points. We are going to play as if it were a final."

Arteta: "In the Champions League you cannot give anything away. Both boxes are tremendously important to have control of the game, and there are going to be moments that can get away very quickly. You have to understand why this is happening and how the game went away from us, but there was a lot in our side.

"To lose the game the way we did, even though looking about two times, we didn’t deserve that result." - read everything Mikel said in his pre-match press conference

Talking tactics

Youssef En-Nesyri

Adrian Clarke: The ‘new manager bounce’ is likely to mean we face a highly motivated, and aggressive Sevilla side. Tactically we cannot be 100 per cent sure what to expect, but Alonso switched from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 against Real Madrid, and they looked stronger and more athletic in central midfield, using Boubakary Soumare and Djibril Sow alongside 35-year-old Ivan Rakitic. The previous manager had often used the Croatian next to another veteran, 36-year-old Fernando. 

In draws against Lens and PSV Eindhoven, the Spaniards were outshot in both games. In fact, PSV created 26 efforts against them last time out, so they will hope to be significantly more solid than that against us in front of their own supporters. 

Going forward Sevilla will pose a threat from set pieces. No team in La Liga has carved out more opportunities from dead ball situations so far this term (49), scoring from six in all competitions, including two in Europe. Four-time Champions League winner Sergio Ramos is one of several dangermen who will attack corners and wide free kicks. 

Their main goal threat is Morocco international Youssef En-Nesyri [above]. The 26-year-old frontman is known for the timing of his jumps, scoring a number of top-class headed goals down the years, while raids from attacking full-backs Jesus Navas and Marcos Acuna, plus winger Ocampos may pose us one or two problems. 

Team news

Aaron Ramsdale training before the game against Lens

After Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Leandro Trossard all returned against Chelsea on the weekend, Jurrien Timber is our only injury concern. Aaron Ramsdale returns to the squad after missing the Chelsea game due to the birth of his first child.

Sevilla also have a virtually fully fit squad to select from. Striker Mariano Diaz is out with a thigh injury, while backup goalkeeper Alfonso Pastor has a knee problem.

Whichever team Alonso selects, it will boast plenty of experience. Sevilla’s starting line-ups in their opening two group games had an average age of 30 years and 343 days – the oldest of any team in the tournament, and the only side with an average age over 30, with 37-year-old Ramos’ summer arrival helping to increase that number.

Facts and stats

Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring against Lens

Sevilla have only lost three of their 10 home matches against English sides in European competition, with the most recent game being a 3-0 victory against Manchester United in last season’s Europa League quarter-final.

We last lost back-to-back group stage matches in the Champions League in 2015/16 which were our opening two games, but we did still qualify for the knockout stages.

En-Nesyri has scored nine goals in his last 14 Champions League appearances, including one in his last outing against PSV. If he finds the net in this game, he will equal Wissam Ben Yedder’s record for the most European Cup/UEFA Champions League goals for the club (10). 

Gabriel Jesus has been involved in 20 goals across his 25 starts in the Champions League (17 goals, 3 assists). He could become just the second player to score in his first three games for us in the competition, after Marouane Chamakh in 2010/11.

Declan Rice has made 32 progressive carries in the Champions League this season (moving 5+ metres upfield with the ball), with Manchester City’s Rodri (47) being the only defensive/central midfielder to have made more in the competition so far.

Match officials

Glenn Nyberg

Swede Glenn Nyberg has been handed this game, a new name for us when it comes to referees. He has been overseeing games in the top tier of his homeland since 2013, and three years later was added to the FIFA list.

This is his second season refereeing in the Champions League, having been given two games last season plus Bayern Munich’s 4-3 win over Manchester United last month. He was also selected to be a referee at the Nations League finals last summer.

  • Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
  • Assistant Referees: Mahbod Beigi (SWE) & Andreas Soderqvist (SWE)
  • Fourth Official: Adam Ladeback (SWE)
  • VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
  • Assistant VAR: Nejc Kajtazovic (SVN)

Previous meetings

This will be just the third-ever competitive meeting between the two clubs, after we met in the group stages of the 2007/08 Champions League. Back then, we recorded a 3-0 home victory thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Eduardo, before slipping to a 3-1 defeat in Spain having taken an early lead.

However we have met more regularly in pre-season friendlies, including last season when we triumphed 6-0 in the Emirates Cup when Jesus grabbed a hat-trick, Bukayo Saka netted twice and Eddie Nketiah completed the rout.

Trips to Spain have proved problematic in our history though, as we have won just three of 17 away games against Spanish sides in all competitions (D3 L11), with those victories coming against Celta Vigo in 2004, Real Madrid in 2006 and Valencia in 2019. 

How to watch

Breakdown Live

Tune into an hour before kick-off when Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke will be in the studio, bringing you the best pre-match coverage before our big European fixture.

They’ll look back at our win against Chelsea at the weekend, as well as the women’s team beating Bristol City, and link up with Frimmy in Seville to give us a taste of the local atmosphere.

Adrian will analyse our previous group game against Lens to see where we could improve, while live commentary comes from Max Jones and Jeremie Aliadiere.

You can also find out which broadcasters are showing the action live in your country.

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Fixtures & Results

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