Sevilla aim to defend the Europa League title they won last year when they play Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Wednesday’s final at the Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw.
The Spanish club are overwhelming favorites coming into this match having made light work of the opposition for most of the competition with the toughest test coming against Zenit St. Petersburg in the quarter-finals which they eventually won 4-3 on aggregate.
With the chance to win the Europa League for a record fourth time, there is extra incentive for Unai Emery’s men who have been urged by their coach to embrace the chance at creating history come Wednesday.
Speaking to UEFA.com, Emery said: “We can’t deny that we have the chance to create history. Of course, we are grateful to have that chance, to be able to pursue this.
“We are aiming to achieve something with this team, with Sevilla. It shouldn’t feel like pressure or stop us from executing our game plan against Dnipro. It will serve more as a motivation, like a dream we can achieve.”
Dnipro on the other hand are coming into this match on the back of a hard fought 3-2 victory over Shakter Donetsk in a Ukrainian first division fixture.
The Warriors of light have been the revelation of this year’s competition after knocking out some of the more accomplished sides like Ajax and Napoli to reach their first ever European final.
Coach Myron Markevych’s has relied on his side’s solid defensive organization in past matches and he will likely adopt the same approach for this match.
An extra incentive for both sides is that the winners of the Europa League now qualify automatically for the group stages of the Champions League as specified by UEFA’s new rule.
Dnipro have to make do without Roman Zozulya (knee) and Serhiy Kravchenko (knock) while Yevhen Shakhov’s availability is doubtful.
Sevilla are not without their own injury problems with concerns over Dani Parejo (knee) and goalkeeper Beto (shoulder).
Sevilla are better placed to win because of their vast experience in this competition but Dnipro’s exploits this season indicate that they can be very dangerous if underestimated.
Nonetheless, I still think the cup holders have enough in them to see off Dnipro comfortably.
Sevilla 2-0 Dnipro
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