x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ronaldo keen to avenge Sevilla loss and put pressure on Barca

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid winger, has said his team "must win" against Sevilla tonight as they look to challenge Barcelona for the Primera Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid winger, has said his team "must win" against Sevilla tonight as they look to challenge Barcelona for the Primera Liga title. Real, who are nestled two points behind Barca, lost 2-1 at Sevilla in October and Ronaldo is expecting another tough game. "Sevilla are one of the strongest teams we have left to play, but we must win," he said. "It could be very important if we lead the league."

Real go into the game on the back of six straight league wins and have scored 11 times in their last two matches. The visitors have lost just one of their last six and are fourth in the table. "It will be a difficult game but we have played at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium before and we are very strong. We have to win and I'm confident that we can get it," said Manolo Jimenez, the Sevilla coach. Bara, meanwhile, entertain Almeria, who have steadily climbed the table with just one defeat in their nine league games this year.

Worryingly for them, the champions have lost just once all season and have seven victories in their past eight games. Almeria's Jose Manuel Flores Moreno will be given the task of shackling Xavi, just as he did in his side's 1-0 defeat at the Camp Nou five months ago. "We all know how good Barca are at holding onto possession and that the game works through Xavi," he said. "If we could control him, then the others around him would be affected and they'd struggle to hold onto the ball.

"I'm a big admirer of his, he's a great player, one of the best midfielders in the world." * With agencies