Sevilla and Manchester United go head-to-head in the semifinals of the Europa League tonight with a final place at stake in Cologne on Friday, August 21.
The Spaniard reached this stage by beating premier league side, Wolves 1-0 in the quarter-finals while the Red Devils needed extra-time to beat Danish side FC Copenhagen.
Sevilla are masters of this competition, having won it three successive Europa League crowns for between 2014 and 2016 while Manchester United were crowned champions in 2017.
Sevilla have no major injury concerns and are expected to present a fully fit squad for the encounter while Manchester United have only Phil Jones out due to a knee injury. Argentine midfielder, Éver Banega has been instrument for the Spaniards who are unbeaten in 19 matches so far and he will be expected to be the creative force in midfield.
Nemanja Matic is expected to return to the starting line-up and Fred dropped to the bench while Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes continue their partnership in midfield to provide assists for the fast-paced trio of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial.
Both sides have met just once and it was during the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 and Sevilla knocked out Manchester United in a two-leg affair, playing goalless in Spain before winning 2-1 at Old Trafford courtesy a Ben Yedder brace.
Sevilla: Bounou; Navas, Diego Carlos, Koundé, Reguilón; Banega, Fernando, Jordán; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos
Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Williams; Fred; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford; Martial
Referee: Felix Brych. Assistant referees: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp. Fourth official: Daniel Siebert. Video Assistant Referee: Bastian Dankert. Assistant VAR: Marco Fritz.
Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla coach: “[United haven’t] lost a Premier League game since January, so they’re obviously a top team with great strength, but these are the semi-finals of the Europa League, and the only thing that will help us through any difficulty or situation that we come across at this high level is ambition, excitement and the desire to compete, with the aim of overcoming a great opponent. We’re all delighted with the team’s work, discipline, responsibility and ambition throughout the year. That’s how we want to be.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United manager: “We have had a few good days preparing, recovering and training. It’s not very often we have six days between games, so we are ready. In any game it is important to start well. If you start on the back foot, if you don’t get first touches and tackle you go searching. We have to play our best game, play out of their press, be clever, be creative and step up in those big moments. These games will be decided on a set piece of a piece of individual brilliance.”
Prediction: Sevilla 1-2 Man United.