As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United take on Sevilla Football Club in the Europa League Semi-final on Sunday evening, majority of neutral football supporters feel the fixture will be closer than many think with both teams previously playing one another in the Champions League in 2018.
For now, we return back to 13th March 2018, a Champions League night at Old Trafford, where Sevilla pulled off a huge shocker against a Manchester United side which was managed by Jose Mourinho. The disappointing result was the beginning of the end for the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach, as a large number of the Old Trafford faithful had began to turn on the manager.
Following the 0-0 draw in the first leg at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium, it was crucial for the Red Devils to hit the ground running and be on the attacking front, however, the team and most importantly the manager, had underestimated Vicenzo Montella’s Sevilla as Wissam Ben Yedder came on from the bench to score two monumental goals to help his side quality for the next round.
Focusing back onto the Europa League semi-final, both teams will be expected to give it their all, as United are looking to achieve their second Europa League trophy in history, whilst Sevilla already have five Europa League trophies to their name and will want to have the sixth as soon as possible.
Now, with no further ado, here are the three Sevilla players for United to look out for…
Ever Banega – Central midfielder
Regarded as the key creator in midfield and the most important player in the team, Ever Banega is a unique individual and is someone that is highly dependent on by Sevilla and Julen Lopetegui. In his recent match against Wolves, the Argentine international managed to achieve the following; 139 touches, 103 successful pass with 63 of them being forward passes, three chances created and one assist. By looking at these statistics only, it shows how much of a complete midfielder he actually is.
Given that Sevilla’s main issue tends to be in the type of chances they create and the end product, Banega will have to do his job effectively and at a high level, where he breaks the lines with his passes and how he is incredibly good at dictating the flow of possession. Not only that, he has shown in the past of how good he is with set-pieces, whether it’s from a free-kick or a corner into the box.
Sergio Reguilon – Left Back
Continuing on from Sevilla’s lack of creativity and end product, left-back Sergio Reguilon will hope to continue his fine performances down the left flank, as he poses with a huge amount of stamina, movement on and off the ball as well as the ideal dribbling from a full-back. Due to his rise in reputation and personal ability in recent months, the Sevilla loanee from Real Madrid has gained the attention of the likes of Chelsea and Everton whilst Sevilla would like to keep him permanently.
With Reguilon linking up and playing close to Lucas Ocampos, Mason Greenwood will have to ensure his work rate and assistance to help Aaron Wan-Bissaka is second to none, otherwise, Sevilla will certainly take advantage of the two-on-one phase down the left flank. Although the La Liga side’s main attack comes down both flanks at a fairly even amount, the left side will be put to a test more than the right, as both Jesus Navas and Suso have previously shown their quality down the right from time to time.
Lucas Ocampos – Left winger
Julen Lopetegui has a number of good attacking options at his disposal, however, it does seem like he will stick to the front three of Suso, Lucas Ocampos and Youssef En-Nesyri, who have played in the recent fixtures in the Europa League against Wolves and Roma. And if that is the case, United’s defence and especially Aaron Wan-Bissaka, will have to keep their eyes out for Ocampos, who is capable of producing something out of nothing.
The Argentine international has been scoring left, right and centre this season, with 17 goals to his name in all competition, his best tally so far his in professional footballing career. Despite his unconvincing time in Italy and France, the 26-year-old is finally looking to be at his best in Sevilla, where he is able to express himself within a possession-based team. With his quick passing, intelligent movement and silky dribbling, he will definitely be the one to watch out for later tonight.