Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk - Preview

Unai Emery - Getty Images
Sevilla coach Unai Emery believes it will be a big ask for the Europa League champions to reach the final despite their slender advantage over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Kevin Gameiro's late penalty earned Sevilla a 2-2 draw in Ukraine in last week's semi-final first leg and the two sides meet again on Thursday.

Those away goals mean a goalless draw will be enough for Sevilla to progress.

Sevilla will be without midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli after he was taken off on a stretcher in the first leg with a serious knee injury.

For Shakhtar, Marcio Azevedo is out because of a knee problem, while Dentinho and Oleksandr Hladkyy are doubtful.

The Europa League represents Sevilla's only chance of playing in next season's Champions League after a run of just one win in seven La Liga games ended their league hopes.

Shakhtar, meanwhile, are in good form. They are unbeaten in their previous 10 games, winning seven of them.

The winner of Thursday's semi-final second leg will meet either Liverpool or Villarreal in the final at Basel's St Jakob-Park stadium on 18 May.

Unai Emery, Sevilla coach
To get to a final you have to take your chances. We need to give our opponents as few of them as possible. Both sides want to get to the final and it will be a very even game.

We're expecting the best Shakhtar there is – they won the tournament in 2009 and they're used to winning their league. Their coach is much more experienced than I am. It is a big ask – they'll be 90 tough minutes and we need to be ready for it.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
In Lviv we had a very good first half but failed to convert several counterattacks. Our biggest mistake, though, was that in the second period we sat back on our 2-1 lead, content to keep it that way until the end of the match.

It will be a complicated second leg. Sevilla are European specialists. There aren't many youngsters; it's all experienced players. And they are headed by a strong coach who does his homework on opponents and never fails to put his game plan across

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