Liverpool v Sevilla: Everything you need to know about Europa League final
A look ahead to the Europa League final at St Jakob-Park in Basle
When is the match and where can I watch it?
The match takes place at the neutral venue of Basle, in Switzerland, kicking-off at 7.45pm BST. The tie will be screened byTV3 and BT Sport in the UK, who have also made the tie available on both YouTube and their free-to-air Showcase channel. ITV will be screening highlights of the match.
Who will be on a Swiss roll?
Liverpool have not won on their two previous visits to the ground – both of which came in the Champions League. Gerard Houllier’s side came from three goals down to draw 3-3 in November 2002, Danny Murphy, Vladimir Smicer and Michael Owen scoring, while Marco Streller’s goal was enough to earn the Swiss side a win over Brendan Rodgers’ side in last season’s group stages.
Sevilla’s only previous experience of the stadium was just two months ago, a goalless draw preceding a 3-0 home win for the Spanish side in the last sixteen of this competition.
It’s a big game for…
DANIEL STURRIDGE The Liverpool forward has come in for criticism for his attitude this season – from his manager no less – and has one final chance on Wednesday to convince Jurgen Klopp that he is the man to lead the line next season, ahead of a resurgent Danny Ings, Divock Origi and anyone that the Reds bring in.
The England man has finished the season with something of a flourish, scoring in five of his last eight games, including the goal which put them ahead in the semi-final second leg success over Villarreal.
Game in numbers
This is the first ever meeting of the sides – and neither have ever lost a final in this competition. Sevilla already hold the record for most wins in the Uefa Cup/Europa League, winning in successive years in 2006 and 2007 and also prevailing consecutively in 2014 and 2015. Victory over Liverpool would make them the first side to win the trophy three years in a row.
Liverpool are one of three sides to have won the competition three times, along wth Juventus and Internazionale. The Anfield side won in 1973, 1976 and, most memorably, in 2001 - in a remarkable nine-goal final with Alaves 15 years ago. The Spanish side levelled at 3-3 and 4-4 in Dortmund before a Delfi Geli own goal finally settled matters with two minutes of extra-time remaining, sealing a third Cup of the season for Liverpool.
Player to watch...
KEVIN GAMEIRO The Frenchman has scored 28 goals in 50 appearances for Sevilla this campaign and will be the main danger facing Liverpool tonight. Fast but slight and confident on the ball, the 29-year-old has been left out of France’s squad for the European Championship, despite reports of a possible recall. He won the last of his eight caps four seasons ago.
He has scored seven goals in the competition this season, and requires a hat-trick to catch up Athletic Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz as Europa League top scorer for the campaign. He scored in both legs of the semi-final win over Shakhtar Donetsk and also netted the winning spot-kick in the quarter-final shoot-out win over Bilbao. Former Premier League players Steven Nzonzi and Jose Antonio Reyes, formerly of Stoke and Arsenal respectively, could also line-up against the Reds in Switzerland.
What else is on the line?
Liverpool, having finished their Premier League campaign in eighth, their equal worst top-flight finish in 61 years, have tonight’s match as their last chance of gaining European football for next season. The winners, of course, qualify automatically for next season’s Champions League. Sevilla ended their La Liga season in seventh place, and as it stands will enter next season’s Europa League at the third qualifying round as a result. They have still to play Barcelona in Sunday’s Copa del Rey final.
KICK-OFF 7.45pm BST
TV Live on TV3, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport Showcase, highlights on ITV
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service