Europa League final: Holders Sevilla seek further glory over Dnipro
Reining Europa League champions Sevilla are aiming to retain their crown at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, with only the competition’s surprise Ukrainian package Dnipro standing in their way in what is sure to be an enthralling final.
Unai Emery’s Bathtubs have been a dominant force in this season’s competition yet again, and have been a constant presence in recent years having retained the trophy as recently as 2007, boasting the joint-highest Europa League successes with three victories.
The Spanish outfit narrowly missed out on a Champions League place domestically on the final day of La Liga, but a win over their Ukrainian counterparts would see them gain qualification through this secondary European competition, and they are 3/1 to win in 90 minutes and both teams to score.
Despite going into this encounter as massive favourites to triumph, Sevilla boss Emery is taking nothing for granted, with Dnipro an 11/1 chance to win to nil in 90 minutes, having already overcome Napoli, Club Brugge and Ajax to reach their first ever European final outing.
“Dnipro have been the revelation in the Europa League this season as they have beaten some very important teams and if they are in the final it is because they deserve to be there,” stated Emery.
“So the game is at 50 percent and we are travelling with humility and with maximum respect.”
The Spaniard’s achievements this current campaign are made all the more impressive by the fact the club saw several key stars depart last summer, including Ivan Rakitic, Federico Fazio and Alberto Moreno, though a new hero has emerged this season in the form of in-form forward Carlos Bacca.
Clinical Colombian Bacca loves playing in this competition, having struck nine times in the last two Europa League campaigns, and he is 9/4 to net again and his side to win in 90 minutes, after bagging an incredible 26 goals in all competitions this term.
“We are able to maintain the group spirit and transmit the message that we are here to compete,” continued Emery.
“We never look too far forward. We never feel as if we are favourites and we never feel as if we are superior to anyone. We know how hard this is and we want to try and enjoy every moment. Knowing we have a final ahead of us is very nice.”
Dnipro possess plenty of attacking threat of their own, though, and are capable of causing another upset in Poland. Yevhen Seleznev struck in both semi-final legs against Napoli and is 7/1 to open proceedings, while top league scorer and former Blackburn Rovers attacker Nikola Kalinic is 11/4 to net anytime in 90 minutes.
Wicked wideman and reported Stoke City transfer target Yevhen Konoplyanka is always a danger and could cause serious problems for the La Liga outfit’s rearguard, with the Ukraine international 9/2 to strike anytime in 90 minutes.
Betting tip: Sevilla to win in extra-time @ 8/1