Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Three successive Primera Division losses and a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal are hardly the ideal preparation for tonight’s visit of Slavia Prague, but despite their dip in form, Sevilla coach Juande Ramos refuses to shed his attacking principles.
“I hear people say at times like this that we should change our game, but I won’t swap good football for anything,” Ramos said. “If people think we should abandon our principles then I’m against it. I’ve learned that you can play well and lose, and you can also play badly and win. Generally, the way to win consistently is to play attractive, attacking soccer. Manage that and the victories will usually come.”
“Three points are vital for us, I know that,” he said. “But there is nothing wrong with our style – our only flaw recently has been failing to score from the mountain of chances we create.”
Frederic Kanoute should be restored up front having been rested in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Real Zaragoza, and the Mali international may be paired with Arouna Koné. ”
We can work on defensive situations but the art of a striker is unpredictable and creative,” Ramos explained. “I fully accept that it’s inherent in football that you aspire to win but you must also learn how to lose. The gap between the two, for us, is in taking our chances.”
Slavia won their first ever Champions League game a fortnight ago when they beatSteaua Bucharest 2-1, but coach Karel Jarolim is wary of a Sevilla backlash.
“It would be naïve of us to think that our domestic form translates to us winning here in Spain and super naïve not to expect them to react,” he said.
“I’ve seen all their recent games and how many chances they’ve missed.
“My players must restrict the space Sevilla get and when we counter, we must score from our opportunities. I believe it would have been better for us if Sevilla had not been losing because I know that they are due a big win. Our test is to ensure that it is not against Slavia.”