Sevilla seek to overcome poor start

MADRID • Confidence will be in short measure when Sevilla take on Borussia Moenchengladbach in their Champions League opener today, with both sides still searching for their first win of the season.

Sevilla have taken just two points from their opening three La Liga fixtures as well as losing to Barcelona 5-4 after extra time in a remarkable Super Cup final last month.

However, the Spanish side could have a psychological advantage after beating Borussia in both legs to win 4-2 on aggregate on their way to winning the Europa League last season.

Another busy summer of comings and goings at the Sanchez Pizjuan has been pinpointed as one of the reasons for a slow start to the campaign by Unai Emery's men.

However, the Andalusian side have also been hamstrung by a series of injuries.

Goalkeeper Beto became the latest player forced onto the sidelines as he suffered a sprained lateral ligament in his right knee that is expected to keep him out for up to six weeks in a 1-1 draw at Levante on Friday.

Defenders Adil Rami, Nico Pareja and Daniel Carrico will all miss out through injury.

Borrusia's start to the Bundesliga season has been even more disastrous as they sit bottom of the table, having lost all four opening games for the first time in their history.

"Our situation in the Bundesliga is unusual and uncomfortable for us, so it's hard to talk about Sevilla," midfielder Andre Hahn said. "I think the game could be a nice break from the league.

"It's also perhaps an advantage for us that we don't have too much time to dwell on the Hamburg game.

"In any case, we're going into it with a lot of excitement. We worked hard last season to earn ourselves this chance, so we're looking forward to finally getting to hear the Champions League anthem."

Swiss international Granit Xhaka is suspended for the visitors after being sent off in the second leg of last season's tie against Sevilla. Meanwhile, captain Martin Stranzl is out with a fractured cheekbone.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2015, with the headline 'Sevilla seek to overcome poor start'. Print Edition | Subscribe