With Champions League place at stake, Liverpool and Sevilla enter the final match of this season’s edition of Europa League eagerly motivated to outgun each other to European glory that could very well save their respective seasons.
One look at the statistics will not reveal the entire story, but Jurgen Klopp did introduce a revolution at Liverpool. Truth be told, this year’s position on the table is worse than any of the previous standings with Brendan Rodgers, but the German tactician did what the Irishman failed to do and that is to restore self-belief, self-confidence and introduce a winning mentality. Europa League would be a cherry on top of what needs to be taken as a successful spell in charge and Liverpool have channelled all of their strength to the final match of the competition. It has been a remarkable season for the Reds in Europa League as the Premier League side lost just once in their 14 games thus far. The incredible comeback against Borussia Dortmund following a defeat in Germany was one of the most memorable moments in Liverpool’s season, which allowed Klopp’s team to gain a much needed momentum. Having in mind that this weeks final will be Liverpool’s first since 2007 Champions League match against AC Milan, it is not hard to imagine what this game against Sevilla means to the Liverpool family.
Jurgen Klopp has rested a couple of his first-team stars in the final round of the Premier League and will have almost full crop of players at disposal in the final. Joe Gomez and Divock Origi are the only two left on the injury list, with Danny Ings finally making his long-waited return to action during weekend. Mamadou Sakho is suspended over the doping scandal.
Sevilla possess a winning pedigree having lifted the Europa League trophy three times already including their back-to-back titles in the last two years. Reaching the Europa League glory for the third time in a row would be an unprecedented achievement and los Rojiblancos will lack no motivation heading into their match with Liverpool. Unai Emery’s men have the same objective as JUrgen Klopp’s side as they too are looking to save their domestic season with a European triumph and a place in the Champions League next year. Rojiblancos have grabbed the final European spot having finished the La Liga season seventh, but they will be eager to avoid going through qualifications into the Europa League, when there is an option to skip those steps and jump in the elite wagon. Sevilla may have finished the domestic season, but they are still in for not one, but two finals. Just a couple of days after the Europa League final, Sevilla are due to play Barcelona in the Spanish Cup final, but Rojiblancos are determined to bring a double glory home. Liverpool will have to keep a close eye on Kevin Gameiro, Sevilla’s top scorer this season with 28 goals including seven in eight Europa League outings. The Frenchman has been in incredible form this season and will be expected to lead his team forward in the Europa League final match of the season.
Spanish side are struggling with a number of injuries to their first-team members. Michael Krohn-Dehli is recovering from a fractured kneecap, while Marco Andreolli, Benoit Tremoulinas and Jose Antonio Reyes are also unavailable due to their respective injuries.
Liverpool and Sevilla are likely to put in a memorable display in what is likely to be one of the most exciting Europa League finals in recent years. Reds and Rojiblancos both know what it takes to win a trophy and will give their best to reach the coveted place in the Champions League. It can get highly ungrateful to predict games like these, but we are inclined towards belief that Jurgen Klopp team’s passion will be an edge Sevilla will struggle to overcome.
Top pick: Liverpool 2.43 (10/7) @Unibet
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – yes 1.87 (20/23) @Coral
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 2.05 (21/20) @Bet365