Glenn Moore: Beware Seville – dark horses on charge
Friday 18 December 2009
Barcelona and Real Madrid are the most feared teams in this season's Champions League but Europe should beware
La Liga's third representative in today's draw. Seville are something of an afterthought when considering the Iberian threat, but they deserve to be taken seriously.
Manolo Jimenez's team qualified for the knock-out stages with two matches to spare – ahead of Stuttgart, Rangers and Unirea Urziceni – enabling them to focus on the domestic league in which they sit third, behind the big two. They beat Real in October and are yet to face Barcelona.
Seville have one of the most potent front pairings in the competition in the shape of Brazilian Luis Fabiano and Freddie Kanouté, who has shown in Spain the potential he hinted at while with West Ham and Spurs. They also have Jesus Navas and Diego Capel on the wings, Didier Zokora in midfield, and a strong set of centre-halves including France internationals Julien Escudé and Sébastien Squillaci, and the Serb Ivica Dragutinovic.
Jimenez initially took over as caretaker two years ago when Juande Ramos, having masterminded back-to-back Uefa Cup wins, was lured to Tottenham. Under him they have beaten Real three times, losing twice, but drawn twice and lost once against Barça.
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