For a spot in the grand finale of this season’s Europa League, two powerhouses in Sevilla and Manchester United will lock horns in Sunday’s semi-final in Cologne. Sevilla reached the last four thanks to a slim quarter-final victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while United recorded a 1-0 success of their own against Copenhagen last time out.
No other team has won the competition more than Sevilla who can boast of five trophies including a three-peat from 2014-2016 under the tutelage of Unai Emery. However, Manchester United also won it the last time they participated in 2017 when Jose Mourinho was still at the helm of affairs.
The two sides will be clashing in Europe for the second time in three seasons after a Round-of-16 meeting in 2018 Champions League. On that occasion, it was Sevilla who progressed after recording a 2-1 aggregate victory. A drab 0-0 draw in Spain was followed by a 2-1 victory in Manchester courtesy of a brace from Wissem Ben Yedder.
Both sides have already qualified for next season’s Champions League so that will not be an extra incentive for either camp, but there is still plenty of reason to be hungry for the trophy. Manchester United’s second half of the season has been almost near perfect and silverware would definitely cap it off in grand style. Same could also be said of their opponents who have only lost a single game since the resumption of football after a COVID-19 enforced hiatus.
Sevilla has no fresh injury concerns after first-choice goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik seems to have fully recovered. However, it is unlikely that he will be handed a start, given the excellent form Yassine Bounou has been in. A penalty save to deny Raul Jimenez in the last match has only swayed the argument in favour of the Moroccan. It is likely that the former Real Madrid boss will stick with his trusted lineup which did the job against Wolves in the quarter-finals.
Luke’s Shaw involvement is still uncertain so Brandon Williams may get the nod again. Asides that, the rest of Manchester United’s team pretty much picks itself.