x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

With cups in mind, Sevilla and Atletico set for a key league battle

Sevilla will be looking to boost their Champions League prospects, but both clubs have plenty to play for over the final weeks of the season.

Sevilla will be looking to boost their Champions League prospects with a victory over Atletico Madrid tonight, and in the process strike a psychological blow ahead of the upcoming Copa del Rey final between the two. Both clubs have plenty to play for over the final weeks of the season, as aside from the cup final, Sevilla are also pushing hard for a top-four finish in the Primera Liga while Atletico also have the Europa League final to look forward to.

Today's match is much more important to Sevilla in terms of their respective league battles, as the Andalusians are two points behind fourth-placed Real Mallorca, while Atletico are 10th, 11 points above the relegation zone and 13 away from the Champions League spots. With little to play for in the Primera Liga and two cup finals in the coming weeks there have been suggestions Atletico's focus may be elsewhere, but Diego Perotti, the Sevilla winger, said: "I don't think that a team as important and as great will come here to lose and allow us to take the three points because it suits them, it wouldn't be normal or ethical.

"To have two finals ahead and not much to play for in the league, their mentality will be different, but it's not crossing my mind that they'll come to lose." Elsewhere, while Real Madrid are embroiled in the Primera Liga's two-way title race with Barcelona, their coach Manuel Pellegrini has had to listen to more speculation that he will be replaced in the summer, with Inter Milan's Jose Mourinho the Spanish media's flavour of the month. Pellegrini, whose side were a point behind Barca before the weekend's games and host Osasuna tonight, yesterday brushed off the questions about his future in his pre-match press conference, saying he was better off keeping his thoughts on the subject private.

* Agencies