Sevilla manager Unai Emery hopes key star Ever Banega ia available for the crucial Champions League tie against Manchester City on 3 November despite the Argentine missing the last training session. The Spanish boss, meanwhile, is confident Fernando Llorente can cope without Kevin Gameiro up front after the French striker suffered an injury during the La Liga defeat to Villarreal on 31 October.
The Europa League holders have had an inconsistent start to the season, with them 11th in La Liga, getting just 12 points from 10 games. However, the manager is confident his side will respond in the Champions League game against City as they need a victory to keep their last 16 hopes alive, having secured three points in the first three games of the group stages.
"There are two ways of looking at the situation. One is positive. We're playing well at home. We're confident ahead of the game despite facing the current leaders of the Premier League. Away from Sevilla, we're a different proposition and this is something we need to keep working on. The current focus is all about tomorrow's game and being aware that a positive result keeps our Champions League dream alive," he said as quoted by AS in the press conference ahead of the game.
"Only in that the team have yet to respond as I want then too. They're working hard and there are aspects of our play that are improving. I'm optimistic of the way we're playing at the Sánchez Pizjuán, and the ground should be a fortress for us. We wanted to be in the Champions League and here we are. This should be a motivating factor for us to overcome obstacles."
Banega, a key men in the middle of the park, missed the Villarreal defeat but considering the importance of the Champions League tie, Emery refused to rule him out for the game against Manuel Pellegrini's side.
"We're positive despite the fact that the player [Banega] hasn't trained with the squad. He wants to play but we'll see how he responds in the coming hours. We are positive so we are calm," he said.
The manager, meanwhile, confirms Gameiro will miss the game but hailed former Juventus star Llorente to fill his gap in the attack. "Llorente is full of enthusiasm and that's why my level of optimism in him is so high," he said.
City will qualify for the round of 16 with two games to spare if they secure the three points and Juventus win at Borussia Monchengladbach in the group's other fixture. Emery said: "If City win, then we know that it's the end of the line for us. Tomorrow is all about securing a win to keep our hopes alive.
"In Manchester, we did a great deal of things well and our confidence level is based on the quality of our players. Logically, it will be difficult as we know that we can't afford to lose and that City and Juventus are clear favourites from this group and even to win the competition."