Sevilla are currently in the midst of a fantastic 2016-17 season. Now third in their domestic league, the club sits only four points behind league leaders, Real Madrid.
European success has continued as well, with qualification for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 secured and drawn to face Premier League title-holders Leicester City in February.
After their third consecutive UEFA Europa League crown in 2015-16, Sevilla were prepared to take the next step.
Unai Emery departed this summer for Paris Saint-Germain, with former Chilean national team manager Jorge Sampaoli taking over leadership of Los Nervionenses.
The club’s hierarchy were committed to improving the squad’s chances across all competitions, with Sevilla being a major player in the summer transfer market.
Franco Vazquez, Ganso, Wissam Ben Yedder and defender Gabriel Mercado were all added. Smart loan moves for Salvatore Sirigu, Luciano Vietto and Samir Nasri, brought depth to a talented side.
The campaign began with frustration, as Sevilla lost the UEFA Super Cup to Real Madrid and the Spanish Super Cup to Barcelona. But Sampaoli had his club ready for the start of the domestic season.
Sevilla turned on the style at the onset of the season with a 6-4 victory over RCD Espanyol, with strong performances carrying over to the Champions League also. A particularly impressive match came in October with a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid.
Sevilla have shown a great ability to adapt to each and every encounter. They have been able to score in bunches, but can also keep their defensive shape when necessary. With massive battles looming in both La Liga and Europe, this will be an important attribute.
We analyse the key components that have helped Jorge Sampaoli find success with Sevilla.
Sampaoli has proven to be an intelligent tactician in various matches throughout the current term. The Argentine’s ability to understand the opposition’s tactics and plan accordingly has directly contributed to positive results.
The club have used three defenders on the backline, as well as different alignments in midfield.
When facing the best sides in Europe, this flexibility will be necessary moving forward.
Former Stoke City midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has been stellar in Sevilla’s formation and has contributed at both ends of the pitch. After a season of adapting to a new league, the French international is flourishing under Sampaoli.
Typically operating in front of the defensive line, N’Zonzi has displayed great vision and positioning to clean out scoring opportunities. His excellent passing abilities have helped the attack improve with each match.
With two goals and an assist to his name as well, N’Zonzi is a solid defensive midfielder who allows others to perform at their best.
With European and domestic cup competition commitments along with the Spanish top flight, depth at several key positions has allowed Sampaoli to keep pace with the top of the table.
Sevilla have seen an impressive number of attacking players shine in various moments this season. Wissam Ben Yedder, Vicente Iborra and Luciano Vietto have all played well and scored key goals. Before an injury, Samir Nasri had been in excellent form and is now working his way back to full fitness.
An abundance of options in the line-up will only improve the club’s chances in all competitions.
A manager who can connect with his players and efficiently guide the team around him will usually find success. Jorge Sampaoli has been able to accomplish this in a short period with Sevilla.
Praised for his tactical style, Sampaoli’s passion and intensity can provide great motivation to his players and staff.
Sevilla aim to put pressure on the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona this season, while also advancing further in the Champions League than in recent years. With Jorge Sampaoli in place as manager, the 2016-17 campaign could be one to remember at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.