Why all neutrals must root for Sevilla in Europa League final

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The 21/10 Ladbrokes are offering on Sevilla winning the Europa League makes them the underdogs against Benfica in Turin.

But the reasons why the Unai Emery-managed side should be every unbiased fan’s club for the night stretch further than just an old-fashioned ideal.

Yes, everybody does love an underdog, but there’s so many more sub-plots to this Sevilla side beyond just being the little guy in this match, that a win for them in the Juventus Stadium would truly warm the innards.

Of course, Los Rojiblancos are no strangers to Europa League glory having won consecutive titles in 2006 and 2007.

However, none of the players from either of those celebrations still play for the side and the fire-sale they embarked upon last summer had some tipping relegation as a more likely outcome than a show-piece final.

Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Gary Medel were just three big money departures in a transfer window that saw 10 players leave, with another six following in the winter.

With only 10 men coming in to flesh out the squad, the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán dwellers have been underdogs all season.

Yet they went on a better winning run than even the most successful side in the club’s history during a six-game giddy spell, secured a return to the Europa League next season with a fifth-placed finish and could cap it all with a trophy.

There’s more too.

They have become the kings of the comeback en-route to this Benfica clash, coming from behind in all of the last three rounds including a dramatic injury-time goal in the semi-final against Valencia.

And lastly, meet 27-year-old Carlos Bacca, the club’s leading scorer. He has more league goals than both the astronomically-priced Gareth Bale and Neymar, despite only turning professional at 22 and working as a bus conductor as recently as 2007.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.