Sevilla will look to hold on to their top spot in La Liga when they host Celta Vigo at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in La Liga on Friday.
Julen Lopetegui’s men find themselves at the top of the league table after 2 games, defying expectations. The Andalusian club won each of their first 2 games, both on the road, a 2-0 win at Espanyol followed by a 1-0 win at Granada.
Along with Atletico Madrid, they are the only team with 6 points, a record not possessed by perennial favorites Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Sevilla let go of several attacking players this summer with the key exits coming in the form of Wissam Ben Yedder to AS Monaco, Pablo Sarabia to PSG, Quincy Promes to Ajax and Luis Muriel to Atalanta.
These outgoings were offset by the arrival of several attackers in the form of Rony Lopes from AS Monaco, Munas Dabbur from RB Salzburg, Lucas Ocampos from Marseille, Oliver Torres from FC Porto and Luuk de Jong from PSV Eindhoven.
While the new signings bed in, Lopetegui will aim for a third consecutive win in the league before the international break.
Coming to their opponents, Celta Vigo barely escaped relegation and finished 17th in the league last season. Now, they are looking for a much better performance this time around and have picked up 3 points from their opening 2 games.
Fran Escriba’s men lost 1-3 to Real Madrid in the season-opener before defeating Valencia 1-0 in the next one. After playing both of their opening games at home, the upcoming game will be their first away trip of the season.
Escriba sanctioned the sales of Maxi Gomez to Valencia, Mathias Jensen to Brentford and the loan of Emre Mor to Galatasaray. The key signings came in the form of Denis Suarez from Barcelona and Joseph Aidoo from KRC Genk.
Thus, a relatively calmer transfer window implies the onus is on the current crop of players to step up and deliver. A tough away trip to in-form Sevilla offers an opportunity to decipher the progress made over the summer.
In terms of team news, Sevilla have no major injury concerns except for Sergio Reguilon, who picked up a head injury in the previous game but is expected to be fit for this one. Lopetegui will look to stick with most of the same lineup as the last 2 games. The only decision to be made is between attacking midfielders Oliver Torres and Ever Banega, each of them starting a game apiece.
Coming to Celta Vigo, they will be without David Junca with a shoulder injury while Okay Yokuslu is back in training. Escriba is also expected to stick with the same team which beat Valencia last weekend.
Head-To-Head and Sevilla vs Celta Vigo Prediction
In terms of head-to-head, last 5 meetings were won by the home team, and Sevilla have won 5 of the last 7 clashes between the sides. Further, the Andalusian club won 8 of the last 10 matchups at home, including the last 4 in a row.
Adding to this, Celta have conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 4 visits to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and are winless in 18 of their last 20 away trips. Meanwhile, Sevilla are unbeaten in 13 of the last 14 games and have won 11 of their last 13 games.
Thus, a Sevilla win with a clean sheet is almost a surety here and Lopetegui’s men will head into the international break as league leaders.
Sevilla Predicted XI: Vaclik; Navas, Carlos, Carrico, Reguilon; Jordan, Fernando; Ocampos, Banega, Nolito; De Jong
Celta Vigo Predicted XI: Blanco; Comesana, Araujo, Aidoo, Olaza; Mendez, Lobotka, Beltran, Suarez; Fernandez, Aspas