Sevilla vs Celta Vigo preview - Emery glad to be back in action



Posted Friday, January 02, 2015 by PA

Sevilla head coach Unai Emery is itching to get back into action after an extended winter break.

His side were scheduled to face Real Madrid in the final round of Primera Division games before Christmas but the Champions League winners' participation in the Club World Cup meant the fixture was postponed.

Sixth-placed Sevilla have duly not had a match since December 14, and Emery is promising they will be bursting with enthusiasm on Saturday as they tackle Celta Vigo, a team who stand two places - but 10 points - adrift of them.

The top seven appear to have broken away decisively from the rest of the Spanish top flight, with Celta sliding down the table to eighth after a run of five straight defeats which has crushed the promise of their early-season form.

While Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are likely to slug it out for the title, Sevilla can take a realistic shot at fourth place and a Champions League spot for next season.

Emery looked ahead to the new year on his personal blog, at unai-emery.com, writing: "We are looking forward to getting back to work because we stopped playing before the rest of the teams, but mainly because we want, because we need, to win to start the year with a good performance in front of our own supporters.

"Celta are tough opponents, who demand you give your maximum in individual battles and who have dominated in most of the games in recent weeks despite not managing to win. Curiously, the last match in which they were dominated against they won, and that was at the Nou Camp."

He added that he continues to relish the "hopes of returning to play in the Champions League" and vowed: "In 2015 we will fight to produce something important together."

Sevilla forward Iago Aspas, on loan from Liverpool, is set to face his former side and has said the occasion will be "very special to me".

"I've received many messages from friends and family," Aspas told Sevilla's website. "When the schedule came out I was thinking about this game."

Celta would love to have him at their disposal, as injuries and suspensions bite hard.

Argentinian striker Joaquin Larrivey has been handed a four-match ban by the Spanish FA (RFEF) for insulting referee Gil Manzano after the defeat to Almeria on December 19.

Larrivey has denied labelling Manzano "a thief" in the tunnel, and team-mate and captain Augusto Fernandez has claimed responsibility for the jibe.

However Larrivey took the hit in the shape of his hefty suspension, and in his absence Celta have called up B team striker Borja Iglesias to swell numbers for the trip.

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