Sevilla chase Glad­bach win to keep hopes alive

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BERLIN: Sevilla need a vic­tory at win­less Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach to­day to keep alive their faint hopes of progress to the Cham­pi­ons League’s knock­out stage in the Group D base­ment bat­tle.

A win at bot­tom side Glad­bach is the only way third-placed Sevilla will still have any hope of reach­ing the last 16, when they host Ju­ven­tus on De­cem­ber 8. Vic­tory at Borus­sia Park would guar­an­tee them at least a place in the Europa League, which they have won for the last two years run­ning. With Glad­bach’s Cham­pi­ons League exit al­ready con­firmed, de­feat would con­firm the Ger­mans will fin­ish bot­tom of the group, but they want to knock Sevilla from third to ad­vance to the Europa League. “We need to be coura­geous and play our own game, like we did against Ju­ven­tus,” said Glad­bach’s Guinea winger Ibrahima Traore. “Our con­fi­dence is high, we are in good shape and our goal is third place to qual­ify for the Europa League.”

Glad­bach are buoyed by their Ger­man league form which has seen them climb from bot­tom to fourth with seven wins and a draw in their eight Bun­desliga games since An­dre Schu­bert took charge in Septem­ber. “We have to go to our ab­so­lute limit and give it ev­ery­thing we have,” said Schu­bert, whose side sealed a 2-1 win over Hanover on Satur­day in his first game as head coach, with a con­tract un­til 2017, af­ter two months as care­taker boss.

“We aren’t un­der any pres­sure, but we do have a duty to give it our all.” Hav­ing drawn 1-1 last time out at home to Ju­ven­tus, Glad­bach want an­other strong per­for­mance.

Schu­bert has breathed life back into Glad­bach with a con­sis­tent team se­lec­tion pol­icy, bring­ing in tal­ented teenagers Andreas Chris­tensen and Mah­moud Da­houd and tight­en­ing the de­fence.

He has also given Swiss de­fen­sive mid­fielder Graint Xhaka the cap­taincy and the 23-year-old, who has been linked to a big­money move to Liver­pool, has rev­elled in the role. The Foals are nine un­beaten since los­ing at home to Manch­ester City at the start of Septem­ber and had few prob­lems beat­ing mid-ta­ble Hanover on Satur­day with goals by Traore and Brazil­ian striker Raf­fael. Sevilla are 11th in the Span­ish league.

They in­flicted a first de­feat of the sea­son on La Liga gi­ants Real Madrid with a 3-2 home win three weeks ago when exBorus­sia Dort­mund striker Ciro Im­mo­bile scored his maiden goal for the club.

But on Satur­day, they crashed 2-0 at Real So­ciedad, who were play­ing their first match since David Moyes was sacked af­ter a run of six de­feats in nine games. Por­tu­gal goal­keeper Beto (knee in­jury), Gaeel Kakuta (thigh) and de­fender Daniel Car­riÁo (ham­string) will all miss the game with in­jury. —AFP

LVIV: FC Shakhtar’s play­ers take part in a train­ing ses­sion at the Arena Lviv Sta­dium in Lviv yes­ter­day on the eve be­fore the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League Group A foot­ball match be­tween Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid. — AFP

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