Malaga vs Sevilla preview - Emery expects Krychowiak to stay

Posted Thursday, August 20, 2015 by PA

Sevilla open the Primera Division campaign at Malaga on Friday with coach Unai Emery optimistic that Grzegorz Krychowiak will remain at the club.

The Poland international is a reported target of Arsenal and could leave if his 30 million euros buy-out clause is met.

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder is under contract with Sevilla for another three seasons and may feature at La Rosaleda in his team's league opener.

"I see him really integrated in our group," Emery said in Thursday's press conference. "He had some aches but he has taken a big step towards playing tomorrow.

"As I've already said in the past, I am counting on him. I believe he is going to stay. He has the capability to grow with us but of course, I'm not a fortune teller.

"Until someone tells me otherwise, I believe he will remain with us."

Krychowiak has been included in the squad to face Malaga after recovering from a broken rib suffered in his team's 5-4 defeat against Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup final earlier this month.

Sevilla finished fifth in the Primera Division but successfully defended their Europa League title in 2014-15 to qualify for this season's Champions League, and proved in the Super Cup they are ready to fight against the top teams.

"The time has come to prove our worth on the pitch," Emery said. "We are in good shape, we are aware of the responsibility we have and after two months preparing, we are ready to begin La Liga."

Sevilla lost two key players from last season, with right-back Aleix Vidal joining Barcelona and Colombian forward Carlos Bacca, the club's top scorer in the past two campaigns, signing for AC Milan.

However, the club have brought in new faces.

Italian forward Ciro Immobile joined on loan from Borussia Dortmund, and Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, a long-term target of the Andalusian club, moved to Sevilla as a free agent.

Also reinforcing the team have been French defender Adil Rami from AC Milan and French midfielder Gael Kakuta from Chelsea.

"The players that have joined us are adapting to the team," Emery said. "With more training sessions and official games, they will start to have a say in the team."

Sevilla won both league fixtures against Malaga last season but Emery expects a stern test against their Andalusian neighbours.

Malaga finished ninth in La Liga last season and are looking to return to European football this term.

Javi Gracia's side lost several key players, including Samu Castillejo, Juanmi and Francisco Portillo, but the arrivals of attacking trio Duje Cop, Adnane Tighadouini and Nordin Amrabat provide cause for optimism.

"It's a great Malaga," Emery said. "They have done a good job in pre-season and I believe we will be tested.

"They have clear ideas and seem to be in good shape."

Malaga are without Brazilian defender Weligton, who is suspended.

Sevilla's Daniel Carrico and Nico Pareja are both doubtful due to muscular problems, but former Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi could make his La Liga debut after recovering from a stomach bug.

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