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Sadar measures the ambition of Osasuna and Sevilla for the semifinals

Sadar measures the ambition of Osasuna and Sevilla for the semifinals.

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Sadar measures the ambition of Osasuna and Sevilla for the semifinals

Sadar measures the ambition of Osasuna and Sevilla for the semifinals


Osasuna receives Sevilla this Wednesday (10:00 p.m.) in the duel corresponding to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey 2022-2023, a match to which the 'rojillo' team arrives full of illusion and with the trick of the return of the tournament to El Sadar almost five years later, while those from Nervión want to take advantage of the opportunity to consolidate their growth in recent weeks with the prize of the semifinals.

Jorge Sampaoli's pupils cling to the Cup as the only alternative to illusion this season, after being relegated to the fight to avoid the red zone so far this year. In addition, his survival in the KO tournament could be the boost needed to bring out the best version of the team in this fundamental period of the year, which they would face with more confidence with a victory.

The break for the World Cup suited the project of the Argentine coach, who was able to lay the foundations of his idea in that long month. And it is that since the return of the competition, the people of Seville have only regretted one defeat -against Girona (2-1)- in seven games. A draw and five wins confirm the balance that the group and the fans cling to to believe in the reconstruction of the team, also heavily burdened on a physical level.

"The players who are one hundred percent have to play, beyond their proper names," said the Sevilla coach in the preview, acknowledging "fatigue" in the squad and advancing the sensitive loss in defense of Fernando Reges, who adds to those of Papu Gómez, Alex Telles, Marcao, 'Tecatito' Corona and Adnan Januzaj.

The absence of the Brazilian would be replaced by Karim Rekik in a line of three central defenders along with Loïc Badé and Tanguy Nianzou. Gonzalo Montiel would rest Jesús Navas on the right, while Marcos Acuña would return on the left. The few alternatives leave Nemanja Gudelj, Ivan Rakitic and Joan Jordan as owners of the midfield, with Erik Lamela as a possible 'hook' to connect with Rafa Mir as '9'.

The casualties and the needs do not leave much room for maneuver to Sampaoli, who last weekend breathed with the victory (1-0) 'in extremis' over Cádiz, with a goal from Rakitic from a penalty in minute 89'. In the Cup, the Sevilla team also defeated Alavés by the minimum and with a goal from the Croatian in the round of 16, to fight to return to play in the semifinals for the second time in 10 years.

This will try to prevent an Osasuna that is already the revelation team of the season in Spanish football. The 'rojillo' team is setting a course to frame, seventh in LaLiga Santander just three points from the Champions League and executioners of the current Cup champion, after eliminating Real Betis on penalties in the round of 16, played at Benito Villamarin.

And it is that the Navarrese, also this season, have been chaining qualifying rounds, all successful, in the KO tournament as visitors, so that, after a long time, El Sadar will once again be a factor in favor of Jagoba Arrasate's team. Specifically, Osasuna played its last home game in September 2018, against the late Reus. They chain 15 rounds played away from home, the record in the competition.

Being local is a plus in a tournament where they have already exceeded expectations and still have a lot to say. The objective is to return to the semifinals 18 years later, when in 2005 they reached the final that they later lost, precisely, against Betis, eliminating Sevilla in the quarterfinals. And the El Sadar caldera on a night that seems icy -with a thermal sensation of 0º- will be key to providing extra energy to the 'rojillos'.

"Every day that goes by people are eager to play with us, let's see if we have a magical night. It's a special game and it shows, it's palpable in the atmosphere. We've earned the right to play a game like this. We want give our best version at home", said the coach of a 'rojillo' team that has only lost in one game since the return of the competition after the World Cup.

The coach's call has as novelties the inclusion of Moi Gómez, who ended up touched in the last draw against Elche (1-1) at the Martínez Valero, as well as the return of Lucas Torró, absent in the League due to suspension. For all this, no major changes are expected in the 'eleven', with the casualties of Rubén Peña and Nacho Vidal, which would force Jon Moncayola to act as an emergency right-back. Sergio Herrera, who was decisive in the penalty shootout against Betis, will return to the goal.

OSASUNA: Sergio Herrera; Moncayola, Unai García, David García, Juan Cruz; Nougat, Moi Gómez, Oroz; Chimy Ávila, Abde and Kike García.

SEVILLE: Dmitrovic; Montiel, Badé, Rekik, Nianzou, Acuña; Gudelj, Jordan, Rakitic, Lamela; Rafael Mir.

--REFEREE: De Burgos Bengoetxea (C. Vizcaino)

--STADIUM: El Sadar.

--TIME: 10:00 p.m./Movistar.

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