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Dnipro vs. Sevilla: Unai Emery’s side aiming for yet more continental success

26 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dnipro vs. Sevilla: Unai Emery’s side aiming for yet more continental success

The Rojiblancos are aiming for their fourth Europa League/UEFA Cup title in the last decade. Can the Ukrainian side stop them?

Ask ten people to think of the great European football dynasties, and chances are they’ll come up with similar lists. Real Madrid in the 1950s. Ajax, Bayern Munich and Liverpool in the 1970s. Barcelona since the start of the millenium. Maybe the odd mention of Nottingham Forest, Benfica and AC Milan. Perhaps Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s Dynamo Kiev for the hipsters.

All these teams had certain things in common, not least a clarity of vision and squads that stuck around for a number of seasons. But if we’re ranking only by trophies won, we should probably consider adding Sevilla to that list – especially if they beat FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (snappy name!) to win the Europa League on Wednesday night.

Los Rojiblancos may not have a Champions League title to their name – indeed, they’ve only played in the competition on four occasions – but they have made the continent’s secondary competition their own in impressive style in the last decade. They have won the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007 and taking last season’s Europa League for good measure. Victory in Warsaw would make it four titles in nine years. No club has managed anything even close to that record in recent times.

The current crop of Sevillistas, managed by the flamboyant Unai Emery, made a slightly shaky start to this season’s competition, winning only two of their opening five group games. Some of last season’s spark seemed to have dimmed. 

But Denis Suarez’s winner against Rijeka – which sent Sevilla to the knockout stages – proved to be a turning point. Since then, the Spanish side have seen off Borussia Monchengladbach, Villarreal, Zenit and Fiorentina. The 5-0 aggregate demolition of the Viola underlined their status as favourites to hold onto their crown.

Not that Dnipro should be underestimated. Myron Markevych’s charges may have had an easier run to the semi-finals, but showed real grit to edge out Napoli over two legs. The attacking ability of Yevhen Konoplyanka and Yevhen Seleznyov is complemented by a defence that has conceded just 17 goals all season in Ukraine’s top flight.

Dnipro’s best bet is likely to be keeping things tight and hitting Sevilla on the break or at a set piece. But with the likes of Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro at his disposal, Emery will surely be confident that his side will find a way through.

If they do, the history books beckon.