Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund | Wednesday 17th February 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
A well-oiled machine takes on a team in chaos and for once it is the German outfit which come in to this match in disarray.
Sevilla secured their eighth successive win in all competitions on Saturday defeating Huesca 1-0 to consolidate their fourth place in La Liga, and although top spot looks beyond their reach, they have now opened a healthy seven-point gap to fifth placed Real Sociedad – meaning the chance to fully focus on this Round of 16 clash with Dortmund.
Julen Lopetegui's side demonstrated their ability to take on and beat Europe’s best by defeating Barcelona 2-0 in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg last week and in doing so also illustrated their phenomenal home form which has seen them win all seven games at their Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium in 2021.
Los Nervionenses have added to the attacking talents of Lucas Ocampos, Suso, Munir El Haddadi and 17 goal top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri with the acquisition of former Atalanta creator in chief Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez. A shrewd piece of business which will ensure those attackers in red and white stripes will have plenty of ammunition, a statement underlined by a quote of 9/4 for the 33-year-old to register his first assist for his new club.
A haul of 15 goals in those aforementioned seven victorious home games is impressive but it is the miserly defence that equally catches the eye, keeping six clean sheets in that run and conceding just 16 goals in total from 22 La Liga games so far – a tally only bettered by notorious shut out kings and league leaders Atletico Madrid (13).
That is the combination that wins you trophies and I was surprised to see the current Europa League champions priced at odds against to win this first leg tie – SBK’s offer of 7/5 is a price I couldn’t turn down.
Dortmund are in turmoil – currently being led (down the Bundesliga table) by interim coach Edin Terzić, they are placed only in sixth, the final Europa League qualification position, on goal difference, three points clear of ninth and a distant 16 points off leaders Bayern Munich.
On Monday, Borussia Monchengladbach confirmed coach Marco Rose will leave this summer to take over at Signal Iduna Park after he activated a clause in his contract to depart for the Bundesliga rivals a year early – on this season’s evidence he will have his work cut out to return BVB to their former glories – German champions in 2011/12 and finalists of this competition in 2012/13.
Rose will have some serious talent to work with but his first job will be to find a way of playing to extract the optimum from the likes of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro but before then he will no doubt be praying that the club resist all offers for star man Erling Haaland.
If the German side are to have any hope of progressing to the Quarter Finals, it surely lays at the feet and head of the 20-year-old Norwegian to test that incredible Sevilla defence.
Fifteen league goals from sixteen appearances is a prolific return – although 10 less than the man who has to be his benchmark Robert Lewandowski, while six UCL strikes so far this campaign has him as the joint top scorer in the competition.
Haaland found his way on to the scoresheet from three shots (two on target) during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim and the striker is virtually impossible to be completely shut out of any match, by any opposition, he is the go-to option for all of his side's creative players.
His 16 Bundesliga appearances this season have seen him hit the target on 28 occasions and he has done so 11 times from just four UCL games this campaign – checking the odds for shots on target I was surprised to see three firms price up two or more at even money or better.
In those UCL games Haaland has had 3-1-4-3 shots on target, with two or more in three of his last four outings and in five of his last eight.
To me it seems he lifts his game for the bigger fixtures so I am happy to take the odds of 27/20 from Poker Stars about at least two Haaland shots on target here. As we are well aware that particular company love a chop more than my local butcher, especially in the props markets odds, so it’s good to know Sky Bet go 5/4 with Betfair/Paddy Power still a nice price of 1/1 to give us solid alternatives.
Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund – Sevilla to win (7/5 SBK)
Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund – Erling Haaland to have at least 2 shots on target (27/20 Poker Stars)