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Europa League Preview: Liverpool-Sevilla

Kevin Gameiro Sevilla Europa League

While the Europa League lacks the star quality of the more prestigious Champions League, the football can still be of the highest order and this season was certainly no different. On Wednesday, Premier League club Liverpool and La Liga side Sevilla will meet at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland for a final which promises to be an excellent contest with some intriguing betting value on the board.

Shark Bites
  • Sevilla has lost its last three domestic games.
  • Seven of Liverpool’s last nine Europa League matches finished UNDER 2.5 goals.
  • All five of Sevilla’s previous Europa League fixtures finished OVER 2.5 goals.

The Premier League club gets the nod as the early fave as the Reds come in at +140 in moneyline markets at online shop Bet365. Sevilla is presently +220 with the Draw at +240. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 2.5 goals is +105 while UNDER 2.5 goals is -133.

Sevilla is the gold standard in the Europa League competition and takes a record four titles into Wednesday’s finale. Furthermore, Los Rojiblancos have won back-to-back titles as they defeated Benfica on penalties in 2014 and beat Ukrainian side Dnipro 3-2 in the 2015 title game.

The Spanish club advanced to the final after eliminating Shakhtar Donetsk in the semifinal. The two played to a 2-2 draw in Ukraine while Sevilla cruised to a 3-1 win at home in the return leg.

Liverpool was paired with another La Liga club, Villareal, in the semifinal round and dropped the first leg in Spain 1-0 before winning 3-0 at Anfield. The Europa League has been the saving grace in an otherwise mixed-bag season for the Reds. They finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League table so a win in the final Wednesday would punch their ticket to next season’s Champions League.

Domestically, Sevilla has endured a rather mediocre campaign and had its worst finish (seventh) in the table since the 2012-13 season when it finished ninth.

Striker Kevin Gameiro has been fantastic leading the line for Sevilla in the Europa League and enters the finale fourth in goalscoring with seven goals in eight appearances in the competition.

The fact that the winner of this game will qualify for next season’s Champions League adds an intriguing wrinkle to the contest. Neither of these clubs qualify for European football considering their place in the domestic table, so we can expect a hard-fought affair in Basel with the best XI either side has the opportunity to field.

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