UEFA Europa League: Sevilla vs Shakhtar preview

Sevilla continue their bid for a third consecutive Europa League title when they take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of their semi-final clash on Thursday. The first leg ended 2-2 thanks to a late penalty kick that was converted by Kevin Gameiro. The two sides have already met over two legs in Europe, it was in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in 2007 and back then a 2-2 draw in Spain was followed by a spectacular 3-2 overtime success for Sevilla in Donetsk. A late goal rescued the Spanish side on that occasion as well, and that goal was scored by goalkeeper Andres Palop. In last season's final Sevilla defeated Ukrainian outfit Dnipro.

Sevilla have started this season's European adventure in the Champions League, but they finished third behind Manchester City and Juventus in their group. They could become the only club to win the Europa League three times in a row and the first club to achieve such a streak in Europe since Bayern Munich won the Champions Cup three times in a row in the seventies. This time their participation in the Champions League is at stake as well because their Primera Liga finish will be sixth at best. Michael Krohn-Dehli and Jose Antonio Reyes are unavailable through injury.

Shakhtar Donetsk did well to fight back after letting in an early goal in the first leg, they took a 2-1 lead but were punished by a rather controversial penalty kick decision eight minutes from time. Their qualification seems less likely now, but their good form could give them confidence. They are on a nine-match unbeaten streak with 27 goals scored in the process, including a 3-0 thumping of arch rivals Dynamo Kiev last weekend. Their Champions League qualification is guaranteed as they will most likely finish second in the domestic league. Fred is suspended for Thursday's match, while Marcio Azevedo, Dentinho and Olexandr Gladkiy remain injured.

Probable line-ups:

Sevilla: Soria - Mariano, Rami, Carrico, Escudero - Krychowiak, N'Zonzi, Vitolo, Banega, Konoplyanka - Gameiro

Shakhtar: Pyatov - Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Ismaily - Malyshev, Stepanenko, Marlos, Kovalenko, Taison - Eduardo

My prediction: Shakhtar to win 2-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Sevilla win - 1.65
Draw - 4.20
Shakhtar win - 5.50

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Members Comments

  • Serbia urkesh0rk


    In this match we should expect a lot of goals. I know that people say when first match is finished with lot of goals second one will be opposite but that wont be a case in this match. Both of these teams are playing attacking football, and with ukrainian side looking for goals tonight i can see sevilla using their counterattacks to get even more advantage. i was dissapointed with shakhtar in first match so sevilla should be going into finals.

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    Maybe the Ukrainian team has some hopes for the second leg game after 2-2 in the first one but of course Seville has a lot more experience at this level and of course two times the winners of this cup in the previous couple of seasons so they always were a favourite to win that semifinal match up.

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