Sevilla vs Espanyol preview - Emery: Sevilla over cup exit



Posted Sunday, February 01, 2015 by PA

Sevilla coach Unai Emery insists his side are already over their Copa del Rey elimination to Espanyol and have switched their attention to other objectives as they prepare to face the Catalans once again.

Sevilla beat Espanyol 1-0 at home on Thursday but Diogo Figueiras' late goal was not enough to overturn the 3-1 defeat they suffered in the first leg in Barcelona, and instead it was Sergio Gonzalez's side who made it to the semi-finals of the cup.

Speaking in a press conference before the third meeting between the two sides in 10 days, Emery said the focus was now on fighting for the fourth Champions League spot after losing to direct rivals Valencia last weekend, as well as defending their Europa League crown.

"We are preparing for this league game with the aim of restoring our consistency in this competition, and we now know more about Espanyol from the last game we played with them," said Emery.

"They knocked us out of a competition we were very excited about but we have now forgotten about it because it gives us a better chance in two very important competitions, the league and the Europa League.

"We are very hopeful of doing well in those competitions and that is what is keeping us going at the moment. Tomorrow we have an excellent opportunity to continue on a path which we want to tread with confidence."

Sevilla have opted against bringing in any new players in the January transfer window, and Emery insisted he has a big enough squad to compete at home and in Europe.

"When you lose a game you might think that you are lacking a few players but two weeks ago this squad achieved the club's best ever points total in the first half of a season," he said in defence of his players.

"I haven't forgotten about them nor the players that will come back from injury, or that (Stephane) Mbia will return tomorrow, which is very good news."

Although Mbia is back, Sevilla could be without fellow midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, who is nursing an ankle injury, while Jose Antonio Reyes and Benoit Tremoulinas have also been ruled out.

Espanyol have a full bill of health for the game but offloaded a total of six players in the January transfer window, and did not make any new signings either.

And Emery is prepared for another draining battle with Gonzalez's side.

He added: "They are on very good form at the moment, they will demand a lot of us over the 90 minutes, because they defend well and they are strong on the counter-attack."

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