As the Europa League takes to the depths of freeview tele, Sevilla host Porto with the quarter final tie deliciously poised for an evening of supreme entertainment on ITV4.
The Portuguese club lead at the halfway stage thanks to a 1-0 win at home in the first leg, but make the short trip to Spain shorn of two key components to their success.
Tough-tackling midfielder Fernando, who saw red at the Estádio do Dragão, and leading goal-getter Jackson Martinez are both suspended for the visitors. With their away form far from inspiring too, it’s the La Liga club who are taken to prevail in both the match and the tie.
To get this far, Sevilla had to overcome a first-leg deficit against compatriots Real Betis so know a thing or two about handling the situation they find themselves in, yet are 6/4 to qualify against Porto’s 1/2-rated chances.
Unai Emery’s side have been on the charge at home of late too, winning their last three games in front of their own fans – a run which includes a 2-1 toppling of Real Madrid – and scoring 10 goals in those outings.
All in all, the Rojiblancos have won five of their last six games at home while Porto are winless in their last five trips away from their own ground. The Portuguese club’s failure to keep a clean sheet in the last eight away days only enhances the thinking that they’ll wilt here, especially without Martinez.
So heavily relied upon is Colombian striker that Porto have only played one game without him in the starting XI in the last two seasons. Naturally, they failed to win that match and shouldn’t expect much joy without him on this occasion either.
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