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Primera División

  • February 12, 2011
  • • 21:00
  • • Campos de Sport de El Sardinero, Santander
  • Referee: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez
  • • Attendance: 20000

La Liga Preview: Racing de Santander - Sevilla

La Liga Preview: Racing de Santander - Sevilla

Los Racinguistas are in the relegation dogfight, while los Nervionenses are a little too mid-table for their lofty tastes...

In Comes Marcelino

Just as they experienced a tough period at the start of the season due to the cruelty of their fixture list, Racing Santander have found the beginning of the second round of fixtures a difficult time. Pitted against many of Spain’s best clubs in quick succession, los Verdiblancos are struggling for victories, and though draws have been commonplace of late, that’s not been good enough for the club’s new owners.

Earlier this week, the bell finally tolled for head coach Miguel Angel Portugal, whose last act was to guide los Racinguistas to a 1-1 draw against struggling Zaragoza – the club’s fifth tie in seven league matches. Left-back Christian was the unlikely scorer of the opening goal, but Racing couldn’t hold on and would leak in the second half, costing two vital points.

This result was deemed unacceptable, and after little over a year in charge, Portugal was whisked out the door to be replaced with former Sporting de Gijon boss Marcelino, who enjoyed a previous stint at Racing during the 2007-08 season. His task is simple: stop Racing’s slide towards the Segunda Division.

Immediate improvement in the Cantabrian side is difficult to see. Forthcoming fixtures against Getafe, Villarreal and Real Madrid all look to be tricky ties on paper, but with a relatively simple end to the season in sight, all hope is by no means lost.  

Don’t Doubt Sevilla

This season has certainly not gone according to plan for Sevilla, who perhaps should have taken their Champions League play-off elimination by Braga as a sign of things to come. Los Nervionenses had targeted winning a place in Europe’s premier competition as their aim for this campaign, but despite jettisoning Alvaro Alvarez at the beginning of the campaign, Gregorio Manzano has had little better luck.

After a miserable run of five successive defeats in the lead-up to the Christmas break, hope was rekindled by a sequence of three wins from four, though subsequent draws against Deportivo La Coruna and Malaga have acted to stifle the Andalucians once more. After showing plenty of verve in Galicia, their local derby against los Boquerones was a huge let-down in the end, with a scoreless outcome just.

“Let no one doubt that at the end of the championship, we will be among the largest teams in Spain,” president Jose Maria del Nido thundered on the club’s official website this week. “We will continue fighting among the majors, and to those who believe that we are dead, we will let them know we are more alive than ever.

“When things go bad, we are going to get ourselves more motivated to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves.”

With a 13 point gap to bridge in just 16 fixtures, the president seems to be speaking from the heart rather than the head.



Marcelino will be missing Alexandros Tziolis, Oscar Serrano and Papa Kouli Diop for his fresh bow in the Racing dugout. There have been no reports of fresh problems, and Markus Rosenberg is back following a ban.


Renato and Diego Perotti have both been cleared to play this weekend, but Frederic Kanoute continues to be troubled by adductor problems. Didier Zokora has been in the Cote d’Ivoire this week for personal reasons and should be considered a big doubt.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Dec 18, 2013 Sevilla 0 - Racing de Santander 2
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Spain - Copa del Rey ‎(ESPC)‎ Dec 6, 2013 Racing de Santander 0 - Sevilla 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 22, 2012 Racing de Santander 0 - Sevilla 3
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 25, 2011 Sevilla 2 - Racing de Santander 2
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 12, 2011 Racing de Santander 3 - Sevilla 2
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
23Adrián GonzálezMidfielder
7Kennedy BakirciogluStriker
10Pedro Munitis ÁlvarezStriker
-A. NahuelpanStriker
23Domingo CismaDefender
17Giovani dos SantosStriker
1Andrés PalopGoalkeeper
3Fernando NavarroDefender
-Julien EscudéDefender
14Mouhamadou DaboDefender
10Ivan RakiticMidfielder
24Gary MedelMidfielder
2Federico Julián FazioDefender
15Jesús Navas GonzálezMidfielder
21Sergio SánchezDefender
11Diego CapelMidfielder
7Lautaro AcostaStriker
21Luca CigariniMidfielder
-Javi VarasGoalkeeper
9Luis FabianoStriker
Players to Watch
Kennedy Bakircioglu
Kennedy Bakircioglu
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Signed from Ajax last summer, Kennedy Bakircioglu was expected to be one of the stars of the Racing side this season. The Swede has only impressed in patches, but he proved a valuable asset last weekend, firing in the cross that led to his side’s opening goal. He needs to show more moments of such aptitude if los Verdiblancos are to comfortably survive.
Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
Much is expected of 22-year-old Ivan Rakitic in the Sevilla side. He was deployed as their No.10 last weekend, playing behind Luis Fabiano, but he struggled to really influence play. Having only recently signed from Schalke, there’s a great onus on the midfielder to act as the creative catalyst the los Nervionenses have been missing through the middle, but it may take him a few weeks to settle.
Sevilla have been maddeningly inconsistent this season, so it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect of them. Equally, with a new man at the helm, Racing Santander will be eager to impress. A tight game is in prospect, with a draw helping the hosts more than their guests.
Editor's Prediction

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