Europa League: Cup kings Sevilla set for another run
While Liverpool take on Borussia Dortmund at Anfield, six other clubs head into action hoping to reach the Europa League semi-finals. For some it’s a new experience, but for Sevilla this is becoming almost tradition.
The Spanish side take on La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao, looking to win the tournament for a fifth time and an incredible third in succession.
Often derided in England and many other countries as a distraction, Sevilla have taken to the tournament with gusto, and their victory last year saw them rewarded with a Champions League spot.
Unai Emery’s men are just four games away from another success, but they aren’t there just yet.
Here’s your preview of tonight’s Europa League action away from Anfield…
Sevilla v Bilbao (2-1)
The evergreen Aduriz handed Bilbao the advantage early in the second-half last week, but a quick reply from Timothee Kolodziejczak soon levelled things out with the away goal.
Vicente Iborra’s late winner put Sevilla in the ascendancy, but we should be in for another close encounter with the two sides sixth and seventh in La Liga.
Sevilla have an incredible home record however, winning 17 straight games at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan before a rare loss last time out.
Sparta Prague v Villarreal (1-2)
A Cedric Bakambu double was enough for Spanish side Villarreal to edge the first-leg, though Jakub Brabec’s first-half stoppage-time away goal leaves the tie finely balanced.
Marcelino Toral’s men have been excellent this season, and have held their own against Barcelona and Real Madrid, but an away record of three wins in 15 is cause for concern.
Shakhtar v Sporting Braga (2-1
A goal in each half in Portugal handed Shakhtar a sizeable advantage, but a late response from Wilson Eduardo last week has given Braga some hope.
Both sides drew at the weekend, but Braga’s away form really leaves them up against it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.