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Thursday, 15 April 2021

Sevilla still alive and can turn Dortmund tie around: Lopetegui

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Mar 2021
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Sevilla are still alive and hope to pull off a comeback in their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, coach Julen Lopetegui said on Monday after a traumatic string of losses.

Sevilla lost the first leg at home 3-2 last month and could hardly have had a worse run of results heading into Tuesday's return leg in Dortmund.

They suffered back-to-back defeats by Barcelona in La Liga and the Copa del Rey semi-finals, surrendering a 2-0 lead from the first leg to crash out 3-2 on aggregate, before suffering a humbling 2-1 loss at struggling Elche on Saturday.

"Every team goes through good and bad moments but the team is absolutely alive and excited about playing this game," Lopetegui told a news conference.

"We deserve to be here for what we did last season and this campaign and although we have a difficult result to overturn we're going to give it every last effort."

Last month's defeat by Dortmund interrupted a nine-game winning run in all competitions and Sevilla have now lost three of their last four games, but Lopetegui said his side's current form would not affect their confidence.

"We don't pay attention to praise nor criticism, we only focus on our objectives. We play every three days, now we have a Champions League last 16 tie and we have enough hope to put in a top performance. If we do that we'll have a chance," he added.

Sevilla have recovered influential winger Lucas Ocampos after he missed the first leg and hope goalkeeper Bono could return from a finger injury that has kept him out of the last two games. Aleix Vidal is their only confirmed absentee.

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