Something happens to Sevilla in the Europa League. They will be looking to win the trophy three times in a row, and for the fifth time in ten years, when they face Liverpool at St. Jakob-Park in Basel.
No other results would demonstrate why they are so all-powerful in this competition. Sevilla finished seventh in Spain’s La Liga, a full 39 points behind champions Barcelona. In the Champions League this season, which they qualified for as a result of winning last year’s Europa League, they were knocked out at the group stage. A 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach suggested Los Sevillistas could make an impression and advance to the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition. It wasn’t to be, however, as four straight defeats saw them eliminated from Group D, which also contained Manchester City and Juventus, although the third-placed did send them back in their favourite tournament.
Sevilla it seems are a team that likes the big one-off games, having beaten Barca and Real Madrid in the league, and even beat Italian champions Juventus.
They have also dispatched English opponents at this stage in the past, thumping Middlesborough 4-0 in 2006 in Eindhoven.
Liverpool have their own equally intimate relationship with this trophy, in all of its guises. If they win, they would join Sevilla with the most wins, having won it in 1973, 1976 and 2001.
The Reds enter the game with a strong squad, with even Divock Origi, Jurgen Klopp’s preferred European striker potentially being declared fit enough to participate.
This will be a match containing two solid and exciting midfields, and that is likely where the game will be won or lost.