FC Red Bull Salzburg
despite their role as outsiders, our boys are eager to take their first win in spain. visits to the iberian peninsula have been difficult for us historically, but sevilla are a different proposition.
If we think back to this time last year, we were immensely excited yet our expectations were low. It feels totally different now. We aren't facing the likes of Bayern or Liverpool, against whom we are massive underdogs. We may not be expected to beat Sevilla, but if we put in an immense performance, we should have a chance of getting a result. If anyone thinks it will be easy, they are sorely mistaken though. Sevilla have so many qualities that can hurt us.
We have found out plenty of times just how strong Spanish football is. Our recent defeats against Villarreal and Atletico linger in the memory, as does our clash with Sevilla 13 years ago. Slick possession-based play can be the antidote to our potent hard rock football. Not all the cliches about Spanish football are entirely correct when it comes to Sevilla, however. As we have seen in our analysis of the opponents, the Spaniards are indeed good on the ball, but they pose even more of a threat via the wings with the aerial strength of Youssef En-Nesyri. He scored the only goal of his team in their last league encounter, a draw with Elche. Their big clash with FC Barcelona after the international break was postponed, however, due to the number of South American internationals not eligible to play.
So to summarise, they are a Spanish team, albeit with a twist. Coach Julen Lopetegui is a firm believer in solid defending. That starts with getting the balance right in their attacks. They rarely have more than five players in front of the ball, which reduces the risk of being caught out by an overlap on opposing breaks. When they lose the ball, they respond with serious teamwork - and their discipline is shown by the fact they are yet to have any red cards this season.
Attacks win matches, and defences win titles, so they say. There has to be a bit of truth in that. The Spanish title might be something for Real, Barca and these days Atletico to fight over. Sevilla have been among the chasing pack for the last two seasons now. That makes them eager to get stuck into the UEFA Champions League. They are already the undisputed record Uefa Europa League winners. They have not gone any further than the last eight in the Champions League, however.
They last reached the quarter-finals in 2017/18, when they faced Bayern. The team from those days is one that the fans can only see in their photo albums, however. Just one of the eleven who started that tie is still in the squad - the one and only Jesus Navas. The speedy attacker is a club icon, and the reserve team's stadium is even named after him.
more than just taking part
We have spent years taking part, and we are ready for more. We are more than a side act, we are a regular fixture. That brings its own sense of pressure. We are here to make our mark and will not settle for less. We are not going to be content playing second fiddle to Sevilla. Our team has not dropped a single point in competitive football so far this season. We may have the youngest team in the competition but we have a massive appetite for success. We are ready.
Our desire will be put to the test against Sevilla. The confidence needed to dominate a UEFA Champions League match has to be hard-earned. We showed we could do that against Brondby. We'll do everything we can. We might just need a little bit of fortune and your support, wherever you are!
Sekou Koita (knee) and Albert Vallci (Achilles) are out injured. Zlatko Junuzovic (heel injury) is a doubt.
The Champions League will be a great challenge for us. We might have the youngest team in the competition, and we are going into it with respect, but without fear. We can't wait for the match in Sevilla, as it'll be fantastic to get to compete against the best teams in Europe. We have worked hard for it. We are facing a top European side who have started the Spanish league really well again.
I am still in really good contact with a few people at the club, and I am therefore really looking forward to the match. For me, Sevilla are the favourites in the group, and I expect it to be a really difficult start for us. We want to play our own game against them too though. Perhaps it will surprise them if we attack them with high pressing in their own stadium. They probably don’t get that in La Liga. We have seen in each of the past two years that it’s not enough to play 80 minutes at a high level. We have competed well against really strong teams, but kept on conceding in the final minutes. We have to play the best we possibly can until the very last second.
most recent clashes with Teams from Spain:
25.02.2021 Villarreal CF 2–1 FC Salzburg 18.02.2021 FC Salzburg 0–2 Villarreal CF 09.12.2020 FC Salzburg 0–2 Atletico Madrid 27.10.2020 Atletico Madrid 3–2 FC Salzburg