Everything you need to know about Sevilla
Manchester United head into a third semi-final of the 2019/20 season when we face Sevilla in Sunday’s Europa League last-four clash.
Like United, the Spaniards will be hoping to win the competition again - something they last achieved in 2016, the year before the Reds lifted the trophy.
Ahead of this weekend’s encounter, here’s all the key information about our semi-final opponents…
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It’s nearly a full bill of health for Sevilla ahead of this one, with the Nervionenses' only key admission being Nemanja Gudelj who tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago. Sunday’s opponents are expected to line up with a similar XI to the one that started in the win over Wolves. That means former Manchester City players Jesus Navas and Fernando should start, as would Suso, who made 21 appearances for Liverpool during his stint on Merseyside. Ever Banega is set to leave Sevilla at the end of the season to join Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Shabab, meaning a win for United in Cologne would be the midfielder’s last match for the Spaniards.
Sevilla finished fourth in this season’s La Liga, and only trailed third-placed Atletico Madrid on goal difference. Julen Lopetegui’s men strengthened their position with an impressive run in the latter third of the campaign and the Nervionenses are unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions, a run that stretches back to February.
Like the Reds, Sevilla automatically qualified for the group stages of this term’s Europa League and they progressed to the knock-out rounds after topping a group containing APOEL, Qarabag and Dudelange. They then enjoyed something of a fortuitous last-32 triumph when they eliminated Cluj despite failing to win either leg. Since the competition’s return this month, Sevilla have impressively beaten Roma and Wolves en route to the last four.
Somewhat surprisingly, we’ve only met Sevilla once before in a European double-header. That came two seasons ago, when we drew 0-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, before the Spaniards won 2-1 at Old Trafford to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Sevilla have become something of Europa League experts in the last 15 years, having won the tournament an astounding fives times in that period. That’s more triumphs than any other side in the competition’s history. The Nervionenses won their first crown in 2006, when they beat Middlesbrough in the final, while their last success came courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the final of the 2016 edition. Despite that, Sevilla have never progressed further than the quarter-finals of the European Cup or Champions League.
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Julen Lopetegui is enjoying his first season at Sevilla, having guided the club back to the Champions League, courtesy of their fourth-placed league finish. The 53-year-old famously lost his job as Spain coach just days before the start of the 2018 World Cup and went on to manage Real Madrid last season, although he was dismissed from his role in October. Lopetegui’s managerial CV includes Rayo Vallecano, the Spanish Under-21 side and FC Porto. The former goalkeeper also represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona during his playing career, and was part of Spain’s 1994 World Cup squad.
On to the next oneGallery
The Reds have been pictured putting in the hard yards ahead of Sunday’s Europa League date with Sevilla.
ONES TO WATCH
Having conceded just one goal in their last eight matches in all competitions, centre-backs Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos will prove tough nuts to crack, while Ever Banega and Joan Jordan can dictate proceedings from the centre of the park, with their calmness and composure on the ball. Elsewhere, winger Lucas Ocampos has been Sevilla’s most potent goalscoring avenue this season, with 17 strikes in all competitions.
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