Europa League final: Sevilla v Benfica match preview
A look ahead to tonight's final of the Europa League at the Juventus Stadium
Wednesday 14 May 2014
Benfica have wrapped up this seasons' Portuguese Liga and League Cup titles and have all eyes on taking home the Europa League.
The Lisbon based club reached last year's final against Chelsea and will be determined to atone for that defeat when they play Sevilla at the Juventus Stadium.
Sevilla's Rikitic said, "Benfica may have more experience but they are not favourites." He is hoping their wounds from their loss last year are still open, while Benfica's Jorge Jesus insists that it will have little influence on the outcome of tonight's game.
Sevillas' inspiration will be drawn from their semi-final in which Stephane Mbia's dramatic stoppage-time winner sent them through to the final 3-3 on away goals at the expense of Spanish rivals Valencia.
Benfica will be without suspended duo Eduardo Salvio and Enzo Perez, while Silvio is out with a knee injury and Ljubomir Fejsa is a doubt with his foot. Jairo Samperio is banned for Sevilla, while Denis Cheryshev (foot) and Sebastian Cristoforo (knee) are injured and Vitolo is struggling with a hamstring problem.
KICK OFF: 7.45pm
Their only previous meeting was during the preliminary round of the 1957/58 European Champion Clubs' Cup, with Sevilla winning the home leg 3-1 before drawing 0-0 in Lisbon.
Sevilla have won both previous European finals they have reached, beating Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup and fellow Spanish side Espanyol in the same competition a year later.
Sevilla have failed to win any of their last four matches, losing on three occasions.
Benfica have lost their last seven major European finals; they have not won a European trophy since the 1961/62 European Cup.
Their previous European final wins have come in their only two previous finals against Spanish opposition (1961 and 1962 European Cups, v Barcelona and Real Madrid).
The Portuguese champions are winless in three matches - before which they had won 25 of a 28-game unbeaten run - and suffered just a second league defeat of the season when they were beaten 2-1 at Porto at the weekend.
COVERAGE: Live on ITV4.
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