Match Previews

Preview: Sevilla vs. Manchester United

Photo via Stadium DB

It’s the return of the Champions League and United travel to Spain to face Sevilla in what could be a tricky tie in the first leg.

With both bosses José Mourinho and Vincenzo Montella knowing the cup competitions are going to be what defines their respective seasons, nothing will be taken for granted.

This is where things get interesting in Europe’s most elite competition..

Kick-off: 7:45pm

Venue: Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán

Referee: Clement Turpin

Los Nervionenses


Group stage finish: 2nd

Group stage record: DWLWDD

Top scorer (all competitions): Wissam Ben Yedder [6]

Most assists (all competitions): Pablo Sarabia [5]

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Sébastien Corchia; groin (late fitness test)
  • Simon Kjær; back (back in training)
  • Nolito; groin (late fitness test)

Team news

With many players on the edge of fitness, the line-up is far from assured.

Tricky play-maker Éver Benega is back available and his work rate along with his link-up play could well cause problems.

Also returning from injury are Joaquin Correa and Luis Muriel to bolster attacking options.

Style of play

Their manager was sacked before the winter break and the experienced yet flawed Italian, Montella, has had a tough task since taking over but they currently sit in 5th place in La Liga.

Operating with a high defensive line, the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford will easily be able to exploit it.

The use of attacking full back pairing Jesus Navas & Miguel Layun (on loan from Porto) allow the attacking midfielder trio of Paulo Sarabia, Franco Vazquez and Correa along with new signing Sandro Ramirez (on loan from Everton) to further aid Ben Yedder down the centre as crosses arrive from deep.

Provided the right service, Ben Yedder and Muriel can be devastating in the box.

In the middle of the park, holding midfielders such as Johannes Geis, Guido Pizarro and Stephen N’Zonzi along with new signing Roque Mesa give stability to an often tenacious and flamboyant side.

However, it was United who halted Europa League triumphs last season as Sevilla had won the previous three of them – an unprecedented achievement.

In the group stages, they clawed back from 3-goal deficit to draw 3-3 at home and drew 2-2 away against none other than Liverpool.

The Red Devils

Talking points

The big names at United such as Michael Carrick, Alexis Sánchez, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Mourinho have all spoken of how important the Champions League is to United which hints at just how seriously the team are taking the competition.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Marouane Fellaini; meniscus (5 weeks)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović; hamstring (day to day)

Team news

David De Gea will start following a rest in the FA Cup giving Sergio Romero the opportunity to keep a clean sheet.

Ashley Young will start at left-back over Luke Shaw.

Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Valencia have all travelled to Spain.

Against that high line, a three pronged attack of Rashford, Lukaku and Sánchez in front of a midfield trio of Nemanja Matić, Herrera and Pogba is expected.

Past meetings

These sides have never before met in a competitive match but Sevilla were the opponents for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial back in 2013 and also visited Old Trafford in the more retired UEFA Cup holders game in which United ran out 3-0 winners.

Match facts

  • Sevilla have reached the knockout stages for the 4th time in 5 appearances but never progressed past this stage
  • United haven’t managed to score more than 1 goal in a match against Spanish opposition – only notching 7 in 14
  • Sevilla have won 72% (13 out of 18) of their Champions League home games; which is only bettered by Barcelona (73%) and Real Madrid (76%) from all the Spanish teams to have played at least 15 of them in the competition
  • United are in the knockout stages for the first time since 2014
  • Ben Yedder has scored 50% of his side’s Champions League goals (6 out of 12)
  • Mourinho is aiming to be the first manager to win the illustrious tournament with 3 different clubs.

TV Channel (UK): BT Sport 2

Enjoy the match!

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