81 min: Ocampos – again – works wonders down the right before flashing a ball across the six-yard box. The winger does everything right – but neither Hernández nor Luuk de Jong are there to meet it. Lopetegui is pulling his hair out.
77 min: Close! Ocampos, who has been at the heart of almost every Sevilla attack, plays a brilliant ball in from the right, Ferland Mendy inadvertently helps the ball on but De Jong cannot direct a header goalwards. Another chance goes begging for De Jong.
76 min: Federico Valverde replaces James. Will Eden Hazard complete his first 90 minutes in a Real shirt?
74 min: Hazard skips past two Sevilla challenges but not Carriço, who acts as a roadblock on halfway. The hosts come forward but Ocampos goes to ground under pressure from Sergio Ramos, who frantically waves his finger at the referee, dismissing any thought of a foul. The referee, this time, agrees. Nothing doing.
70 min: Luuk de Jong glances just wide! Sevilla could not go too much closer to an equaliser. It all stemmed from a free-kick, which Hazard was guilty of giving away 25 yards from goal. It was poor in itself but Sevilla recycled the ball and De Jong did well to get a faint touch on a high cross. It bobbles just wide. Real survive.
69 min: Javier Hernández, the former Real forward, replaces Joan Jordan, who was on a yellow. Hernández will presumably operate alongside Luuk de Jong, a little and large combination of sorts.
67 min: That goal has knocked the stuffing out of Sevilla, who are readying a change down on the touchline.
GOAL! Sevilla 0-1 Real Madrid (Benzema, 64)
Karim Benzema heads in his fifth goal of the season, converting a wonderful cross by Dani Carvajal. Benzema eludes his marker and steadies himself to nod a hanging ball back across goal, beyond Vaclík.
61 min: Ocampos is played in down the right, he knocks the ball beyond Sergio Ramos and the Real Madrid defender is lured into making a stereotypically cynical foul. Ramos obstructs Ocampos from reaching the ball and the referee swiftly dishes out a deserved yellow card.
60 min: Jesús Navas is slipped through on the right, he races on to the ball but there is Casemiro, sliding across, to intervene. Real then play out from the back, with Kroos neatly knitting together a move upfield but Benzema gives it away. Back come Sevilla, and the home supporters sense something is stirring.
56 min: Jordan clips Hazard on halfway. Eden Hazard has not been his electrifying best but the Belgium forward has certainly made an impression. He forced a good save out of Vaclík in the first half and has been at the heart of every positive and promising Real burst forward.
54 min: Dani Carvajal clears yet another Sevilla corner. Ocampos recycles possession and jinks past Kroos but Bale is there to head away.
53 min: Hazard is slipped in down the Real left and Joan Jordan is always up against it. Out of ideas to halt his man, Jordan not only tugs at Hazard’s shirt but almost rips it off him altogether. Jordan gets a booking for his efforts.
51 min: Javier Hernández is among those warming up for Sevilla. It has been a fairly slack start to the second half by Julen Lopetegui’s men. Real are in the driving seat.
49 min: Bale whips a cross in .. but James Rodríguez cannot get on the end of it. Real Madrid steam forward, Bale sends a cross whizzing in to the back post, where James is lurking, in acres of space. He jumps but cannot get anything on it. It’s just as well from a Sevilla perspective, because all of their defence were static, having stopped on the edge of the 18-yard box.
47 min: Hazard does superbly to take the sting out of a Sevilla attack. The hosts freed Reguilón down the left before they worked it to the right, where Ocampos made light work of beating his man. But just as it seemed Real were in trouble, Hazard swivels away from danger in the box and coolly picks out a team-mate in lime green.
Half-time: Sevilla 0-0 Real Madrid
An even contest. Eden Hazard had a snapshot repelled by Vaclík, before Dani Carvajal almost started and finished a slick Real move. Sevilla have more than held their own, giving Real plenty to think about without really putting Zinedine Zidane’s side under the cosh. Julen Lopetegui, the former Real manager who was booked for gesturing to the referee to book Gareth Bale for a tackle, heads straight down the steps on the sound of the whistle.
45 min: There will be one added minute.
42 min: Franco Vázquez and Carvajal are both permitted to return to the field after a spot of treatment. As play resumes, Ramos wellies the ball into Row Z before Mendy lashes the ball out for another corner, Sevilla’s eighth of this half.
39 min: Mendy catches Jesús Navas with a wandering elbow and Sevilla get a free-kick out of it. It was a foul but nothing more – there did not appear to be any malice behind it. Seconds later, Franco Vázquez and Carvajal clash heads.
38 min: Dani Carvajal goes close! The Real full-back does superbly to seize the ball back in central midfield and then nudges the ball inside, before James releases the defender, freeing him to race through on goal. He tries to slot the ball across goal but Vaclík is equal to it. Strong save. In the aftermath, Real earn a free-kick 35 yards out as James is upended but Bale fails to truly test Vaclík.
34 min: Real come alive, robbing Sevilla of possession 30 yards from goal and Hazard forces a save out of Vaclík! Benzema does really well before sliding in Hazard, who drives at the near post instead of trying to pick out James arriving in the box. You cannot really fault him for having a pop there.
32 min: Sevilla earn a sixth corner – but Luuk de Jong cannot hit the target. He rises highest in the box, getting above Toni Kroos but De Jong cannot divert it goalwards.
28 min: Julen Lopetegui just cannot help himself. The Sevilla coach, who seemingly has a bit of pent-up anger, stalking the touchline from minute one, receives a yellow card after asking the referee to book Gareth Bale for a challenge on Reguilón. Juan Martínez Munuera rushed over to Lopetegui to book the Sevilla manager, who had previously gestured for a Real player to go into his book. The Real supporters will enjoy that one.
26 min: Banega smiles after picking up a yellow card for a late challenge on James Rodríguez on halfway.
25 min: James dips in to do some more all-important dirty work as Sevilla look to pen in Real once more. The hosts are growing into this game. Real are certainly not having it all their own way.
23 min: Sevilla win a fifth corner – and they cause a moment’s havoc. It was a dangerous cross in, Real failed to truly clear their lines with a loose ball causing problems. When Real do clear, Carlos makes a smart sliding challenge on Hazard.
22 min: Carvajal’s low cross is blocked by Reguilón and Real Madrid win a corner! It all stemmed from some clever and probing buildup play by Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, with the latter cutting inside to switch play. That freed Carvajal to maraud into acres of space down the right and get to the byline to zip a ball across goal. But Real waste the resulting corner.
20 min: Dani Carvajal goes into the referee’s book for a clumsy challenge on Ocampos. No complaints.
18 min: This time, Ocampos succeeds in winning a corner, as the ball deflects off Casemiro. Sevilla play it short and Banega’s cross needs to be dealt with. They then recycle possession but Courtois is first on the scene to hoover it up. Real Madrid build down the right through Gareth Bale, who cuts inside. Patient play, with Kroos and James combining on halfway.
16 min: Carvajal does really well to fend off Ocampos under pressure and prevent Sevilla from buying a cheap corner. Instead, Real get a goal-kick and Courtois can boot it upfield.
14 min: Sergio Ramos, who left Sevilla for Real Madrid in 2005, is getting mullered every time he picks the ball up. Ramos has, of course, heard it all before but the locals certainly haven’t forgotten how he left his boyhood club. They have no desire to give him a quiet night at the office.
12 min: Anything you can do, I can do better, say Real, as they zoom upfield and win a corner after Sevilla clean up following a hanging Carvajal cross from the right in search of Gareth Bale. James takes the set piece but it is disappointing, forcing Real to rebuild from halfway.
10 min: Sevilla win yet another corner – but the overhead kick by Carlos was ambitious. A chance for Real to get a foothold.
9 min: That ought to give Sevilla plenty of cause for encouragement. Real are just trying to settle things down and successfully do so, with Casemiro and Carvajal knocking the ball about, playing a neat one-two, with Bale also on the scene.
6 min: Sergio Ramos averts the danger! Brilliant headed clearance by the Real defender, to glance away an inviting Sevilla cross from the left. A genuine fright for Real. When the ball comes back in from a corner, Courtois is caught in no man’s land and Luuk de Jong gets crowded out. The ball appears to strike Varane’s right hand amid all of that, but it was cannoned at him as a result of a bit of pinball in the area.
5 min: Kroos dinks a cross in towards the back post, where Gareth Bale is lurking and Sevilla nudge the ball out to safety for a corner. But, when Real recycle possession, a decent cross flies into the box but Benzema cannot direct his header on target.
4 min: Fernando is pulled up for a foul on Casemiro, around 30 yards out. Toni Kroos is among the interested parties …
3 min: Hazard enjoys a couple of fleeting touches as Real surge upfield. Bale and Benzema are both then involved before Mendy floats a ball in from the left but the former has no chance of reaching that, a severely overcooked cross.
1 min: Jesús Navas plays an early ball over the top of the Real defence and Mendy calmly allows it to run for Courtois to gather. Sevilla have had plenty of the early possession.
There is a decent volume inside the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium – Sevilla are well up for this one. We are just the pre-match handshakes and a couple of other formalities away from the off. Here we go, then …
The Real motley crew. Kick-off is six minutes away:
So, a first La Liga start for Eden Hazard. How will the forward fare? Hazard has played 100 minutes in a Real Madrid shirt since joining from Chelsea for £89m this summer and, alongside Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, the Belgium international has another chance to impress after being upstaged by a former Real forward, Ángel Di María, on Wednesday. At Stamford Bridge earlier, Chelsea fans passed a giant Hazard banner round the stadium, which is kind of cute. Hazard will hope to leave a similar legacy at Real:
A gentle reminder of Saturday’s goings-on:
Sevilla were given a warm reception on arrival at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, where Real Madrid are bidding to end the former’s unbeaten start to the season. As for coming up against his former club, Julen Lopetegui has been rather nonplussed about the whole shebang, insisting the emphasis on his players to do the business – not Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane or indeed himself. “There is no room for extra motivation when you coach Sevilla, something I can hopefully do for many years,” Lopetegui said. “There are three points at stake and that is enough motivation, even if we know the impact of facing Real Madrid. I always have a very good memory of all the clubs where I have been, as I stay with the positive. I try to be responsible and ambitious, and [Sunday] will be no exception. The central characters are the players, not the coaches.”
Essential pre-match reading, courtesy of Barney Ronay:
Sevilla (4-3-3): Vaclík; Jesús Navas, Carlos, Carriço, Reguilón; Fernando, Jordán, Banega; Ocampos, Franco Vázquez, De Jong
Subs: Bounou, Nolito, Kounde, Hernández, Gudelj, Escudero, Torres
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, James Rodríguez; Hazard, Benzema, Bale
Subs: Areola, Militão, Nacho, Valverde, Lucas, Jovic, Vinícius Júnior
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
Real Madrid have come unstuck just once this season, at Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday but nevertheless Zinedine Zidane is reportedly already under pressure to add some swagger to a low-key start to the season. Saying that, Barcelona’s shock defeat at Granada has certainly eased the immediate focus. But the Champions League is regarded as the be all and end all for the club’s hierarchy after spending more than €350m on summer recruits to push them closer to regaining that crown, a competition they won last year. Real are likely to be revved up, while an unbeaten Sevilla side have been quietly impressive, with the former Real striker Javier Hernández notching against Qarabag in midweek. “There are always difficult moments at a club like Real Madrid, but I am happy that we can overcome them,” Zidane said this week ahead of facing a Sevilla team coached by Julen Lopetegui, who took charge of just 14 Real games before being sacked in October. “What is said about me, or the club, from outside does not matter to me,” added Zidane. “We are united here and we have a strength from with the club. I don’t feel questioned, I am happy with what I am doing. Pressure in these situations is normal, it would be strange if there was no pressure.”
Kick-off: 8pm (BST)