Liverpool VS Sevilla Prediction
It’s third consecutive UEFA Europa League final for Sevilla and Unai Emery’s men are eager on another triumph, after the relevant trophies against Benfica and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, respectively in the 2014 UEFA Europa Lague and in the 2015 UEFA Europa League finals. The 2016 UEFA Europa League final will be held in Basel where Sevilla already had previous visit as “St. Jakob-Park” in Swiss city has staged their first Round of 16 leg against local FC Basel and it actually ended without any goals. Apparently, Sevilla made it to the next round as “Sevillistas” target their fifth ever Europa League trophy and to be even more remarkable, all of the previous trophies which Sevilla have won in that tournament are in the last decade – period 2006-2015.
Liverpool has the opportunity to level Sevilla’s record from four Europa League trophies, although their last one dates from season 2000-2001 when “The Reds” won that memorable UEFA Cup final against another Spanish opposition – 5:4 against Deportivo Alavés in Dortmund. Fifteen years later Liverpool has another Dortmund connection and this time former BVB manager Jürgen Klopp will take part in his second final after arriving at “Anfield” in October. After the unfortunate League Cup defeat against Manchester City, Liverpool will hope to avoid another frustration in Wednesday evening and “Reds” from Merseyside have one common thing with their opponents from Andalusia here. Both clubs have 100% win ratio from their previous Europa League finals which means that one of them will suffer its first defeat at the UEFA Cup/Europa League final. Moreover, winner from this clash will proceed to the UEFA Champions League group stage next season, which forms another battle here. Not only between both clubs and their desire of winning trophies, but also of a rivalry between two of the best leagues in European football, as Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League compete who can have five teams in the Champions League next season, as both clubs are away of top 4 in their relevant domestic leagues.
Road to Basel: Previous fixtures of Liverpool and Sevilla during season 2015-2016 – in both UEFA competitions and not only
Liverpool gained much bigger experience in the previous Europa League stages as “The Reds” started their quest with Brendan Rodgers in charge and with directly from the UEL group stage, where Liverpool was alongside Bordeaux, Sion and Rubin Kazan, as English team finished like Group B winners. In the following four rounds in the knockout phase, Liverpool had some very serious challenges in face of FC Augsburg, regional rivals Manchester United, which was their first even duel in the continental scene, quarter-final tie against Jürgen Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund, as well as the semi-final tie against Villarreal. After late defeat in the first leg at “El Madrigal” in Villarreal, Liverpool has sank “The Yellow Submarine” on its “Anfield” and their previous scuffle against Spanish opposition finished with great success after a 3:0 win. Perhaps the most convincing effort of “The Reds” in their UEFA Europa League campaign so far.
As a champion of the 2014-2015 UEFA Europa League Sevilla finally tasted from the UEFA Champions League football after five years of attempts, but the new Europa League format was fully in their favor. However, “The Rojiblancos” were in a tricky group next to teams like last season’s finalists Juventus and this year’s semi-finalists Manchester City, as they both won the top two positions in Group D of the UEFA Champions League. Nevertheless, Sevilla won the third position after finishing on third place with one point above Borussia Mönchengladbach, which is a consolation and simply a door open for Sevilla. Thus they have chance to improve their own Europa League record and to remain in the history of the competition with their three successive wins.
Unfortunately, Sevilla fails to shine away from its “Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán” and except the victory at “San Mames” in Bilbao (in the UEL quarter-finals), Sevilla finished as the second worst away side in Spanish Primera Division where Unai Emery’s men were the only team without an away win – 9 draws and 10 defeats in 19 La Liga visits. Pretty bad record from Sevilla and only the relegated Levante has worse away stats there – 6 points won out of 59 possible. Anyway, all the poor away results of Sevilla were marked by home superiority and Sevilla is in the eve of two upcoming finals in the elimination competitions, after finishing seventh in season 2015-2016 of Spanish La Liga. Indeed, except the upcoming UEFA Europa League final Sevilla has upcoming Copa del Rey final against the reigning champions and also current La Liga champions from Barcelona, but first of all Sevilla will think about the upcoming Europa League final which opens another opportunity to claiming Champions League football in season 2016-2017. Only four days later, in Sunday evening, Sevilla will play against Barcelona at “Estadio Vicente Calderón” in capital Madrid, but it’s pretty clear that Unai Emery will name his best men in Basel, as he rested most of them from the last round in La Liga – 1:3 defeat by Athletic Bilbao in Saturday, which was preceded by another domestic defeat last weekend – 1:4 from Granada. These results came after the decisive semi-final victory against Shakhtar Donetsk and they pretty much show that Sevilla’s priority is definitely set on potential third successive Europa League trophy.
Despite the above mentioned poor away record which Sevilla shows, “Sevillistas” are pretty tricky to be beaten in the Europa League, as except the meaningless 0:1 from Molde (preceded by a 3:0 win in the first leg) in Norway, Sevilla is unbeaten in its last 8 Europa League fixtures on the road, in which they have 5 wins and 3 draws – including the 2015 Europa League final in Warsaw and the relevant 3:2 win vs Dnipro. After the success against Molde, Sevilla had three more challenges and they eliminated Swiss champions and owners of the final venue – FC Basel, their La Liga opponents Athletic Bilbao and another former Europa League (UEFA Cup) winner from the recent past – Shakhtar Donetsk, after 2:2 draw in Ukraine and 3:1 victory in Spain in the second leg.
2016 UEFA Europa League Final: Liverpool vs Sevilla – Possible lineups, missing players, formations, referee and betting tip
It’s intriguing to note that Liverpool have lost only once in 14 Europa League encounters this season and this was in the underlined defeat from Villarreal, part of the 1/2 finals. In all other matches “The Reds” from Merseyside have avoided the defeat and their victories over Manchester United (2:0) and Borussia Dortmund (4:3) are the most notable of all, as the dramatic victory against Borussia Dortmund came as a sign that Liverpool and in particular Jürgen Klopp can be the chosen one who can dethrone Sevilla from the position, where they obviously feel quite comfortable in the last three years.
Jürgen Klopp can be delighted from the desire shown by his skipper Jordan Henderson and his compatriot Emre Can, as the rumors were that they both will miss rest of the season, but their hard work and dedication gave results and they are both available for the upcoming game. Same goes for Belgian striker Divock Origi who makes great second half of season 2015-2016 and his presence increase the squad depth which Jürgen Klopp has in attack. However, it’s very likely only Emre Can to be included in the starting squad from the trio mentioned in the upper rows, as he looks like the most prepared from all, while Henderson and Origi should be on the bench and their presence there will add even more confidence in the English team.
Mamadou Sakho will miss the UEFA Europa League due to his general suspension while Joe Gomez remains sidelined due to his long-term injury. Danny Ings is another player who is back in training as the striker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee during his first training session under new manager Jürgen Klopp, only few days after his international debut for “The Three Lions”. Ings and Henderson came on the field as substitutions for Jordon ibe and Joe Allen in the weekend’s 1:1 win in West Bromwich, where Klopp rested all potential starters in the upcoming final. Thus Liverpool finished on eighth position in the Premier League, but however, we all know that their best efforts were focused in the Europa League and Jürgen Klopp gave chance to some rotation/backup players in the past few weeks of domestic football.
Sevilla must deal without the injured wingers Michael Krohn-Dehli and captain José Antonio Reyes, who are both injured, but Unai Emery still has some great names like Yevhen Konoplyanka and Vitolo, who are the potential starters in Sevilla’s line up. Éver Banega will take his position behind Kevin Gameiro, as the French striker of Sevilla will be the biggest threat for Liverpool’s defense here. He has 24 goals scored in all competitions (7 are in the UEL) and this makes him one of the top scorers in the competition, behind names like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (8 goals), Cédric Bakambu (9 goals) and Aritz Aduriz (10 goals), although Sevilla has joined the Europa League from the Round of 32, while all other teams started from either the group stage or the qualifying rounds. Impressive record by Gameiro, undoubtedly.
Jürgen Klopp already has experience when facing Sevilla as he led Mainz 05 and Borussua Dortmund in different occasions. First of all, back in season 2005-06 of the UEFA Cup Mainz 05 drew at home (0:0) and lost with 0:2 away in Sevilla, in the fourth round of the competition, which was later on won by Sevilla.
Five years later Klopp had another opportunity to win against Sevilla when Dortmund lost by Sevilla of Gregorio Manzano – 0:1 defeat at home, followed by the decisive 2:2 draw in Sevilla on 15 December 2010. Draw which was pleasing for the Spanish team as a result of which they scooped the second position in Group J and reached the next stages at the expense of Borussia Dortmund.
Now Jürgen Klopp has third attempt to eliminate Sevilla and this comes in moment when Sevilla aims to achieve third Europa League trophy in a row. Well, we believe that it’s time for having a different champion and Liverpool has the quality to challenge Sevilla.
Our betting recommendation is for the Premier League representatives – Liverpool to lift the trophy at “St. Jakob-Park”.
Venue: “St. Jakob-Park” in Basel.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.
Possible starting lineups:
Liverpool: Mignolet – Clyne, Touré, Lovren, Moreno – Can, Milner – Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho – Sturridge. (4-2-3-1)
Missing players – Mamadou Sakho is suspended, Joe Gomez is injured.
Sevilla FC: Soria – Escudero, Rami, Carriço, Mariano – N’Zonzi, Krychowiak – Konoplyanka, Banega, Vitolo – Gameiro. (4-2-3-1)
Missing players – Michael Krohn-Dehli and José Antonio Reyes are both injured.