Sevilla vs Elche preview - Emery set to ring changes

Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 by PA

Sevilla coach Unai Emery is ready to field second-string and academy players in his team's final game of the season against Elche, but insists his side will be competitive and go out to win the match.

Sevilla are guaranteed an automatic place in the Europa League next season after winning the competition on Wednesday, beating Benfica on penalties in Turin, and Emery explained that many of his players were feeling the effects of playing 120 minutes of football.

With Real Sociedad hot on their heels, Sevilla have to beat Elche to be assured of finishing fifth in the Primera Division, and the coach reiterated that was his aim.

He said: "We want to hold on to fifth place even though we have won the Europa League and go straight into the group stages. But as well as that, we want to wave farewell to the season by playing a great game."

Midfielder Vitolo and striker Kevin Gameiro, who both featured in the Europa League triumph in Turin, have been ruled out due to injury, while defender Fernando Navarro is suspended.

"We've called up several academy players because of the doubts we have," explained Emery.

"We'll prepare the game with that in mind but we'll still be trying to win the game so we can say goodbye to the (Ramon) Sanchez Pizjuan with a good performance.

"Logically the players that have played less often will play, but there will be a mix of those players that are available, those that have played just a few games plus academy players."

Elche also have little to play for after sealing survival with last week's goalless draw with Barcelona, and coach Fran Escriba has announced he will not risk Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who is set to be the club's only representative at the World Cup.

"He is a pillar of this club and he is going to represent us at the World Cup, which makes us very proud, and we can't make the mistake of risking he misses it," the coach said.

Meanwhile, defender Alberto Botia is still suspended, Sevilla loanee Manu del Moral cannot play due to the terms of his contract, and Aaron Niguez is injured.

Escriba also announced that Javi Flores will take Sanchez's place to make his first start of the season, while young attacking midfielder Samu will also travel to Seville and could make his debut for the first team.

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