Europa League Final

Date

May 19, 2016

Where to Watch and At What Time

Fox Sports 1 at 2:45 pm EST

Venue

St. Jakob-Park, Basel Switzerland

Referee

Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

Sevilla

Road to the Final

Sevilla began this season in the Champions League Group D with Manchester City, Juventus, and Borussia Monchengladbach. Many pundits felt that this was the group of death, as all four teams were going to be very strong and a really tough out. As it happens, Sevilla finished third in the group and were sent to the Europa League. They defeated Juventus on the final day to jump over Monchengladbach. In the Round of 32, they faced Molde from Norway. They won the first leg at home 3-0 and that was all they needed as they lost the second leg 0-1. In the round of 16, Basel found out how hard it is to play in Spain as they lost the second leg in Sevilla 3-0. In the quarterfinals, Sevilla faced a Spanish opponent that was up to the task. Athletic Bilbao was a very tough opponent. In Bilbao, the first leg ended 2-1 to Sevilla. Sevilla thought they were looking good but then the second leg went 1-2 to Bilbao. On to penalties the game went, where Sevilla advanced 5-4. In the semifinal, Sevilla faced Shakhtar Donetsk. They came back twice in Ukraine to draw 2-2 and then won the second leg at home 3-1 to return to their third straight final.

Manager

Unai Emery is about to finish his third full season as manager of Sevilla and looking to win his third straight Europa League title. He took over in January of 2013 and won the Europa League and finished 5th in each of his two previous seasons. This season he led Sevilla to a seventh place finish, but he is in the final of the Europa League and the Copa del Rey. He has found great success with this club in Europe and is looking to make it three Europa Leagues in three seasons.

One to Watch

Kevin Gameiro seems to have made it his personal mission to win a third Europa League final. In his 8 appearances in the competition, he has 7 goals and 2 assists. He has been spectacular this season and will need to be stopped if Liverpool wants any chance to win the trophy.

Probable Starting XI

Soria, Tremoulinas, Rami, Carrico, Mariano, N’Zonzi, Krychowiak, Curro Banega, Konoplyanka, Gameiro

Liverpool

Road to the Final

Liverpool started the campaign in the Europa League Group B. In this group was Bordeaux, Sion, and Rubin Kazan. Liverpool drew the first 3 games 1-1 of the campaign before defeating Rubin Kazan 1-0 in Russia. They then defeated Bordeaux 2-1 on Matchday 5. In the final group match, they drew 0-0 with Sion. This gave them enough points to win the group and advance to the round of 32. In the round of 32, they faced Augsburg. Liverpool advanced thanks to a 1-0 second leg win at home. In the round of 16, a familiar foe faced Liverpool as they took on Manchester United. In the first leg in Anfield, Liverpool won 2-0. The second leg would end in a 1-1 draw, sending Liverpool on. Jurgen Klopp would now face his former club in the quarterfinals. The first leg in Germany was fairly uneventful as the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The second leg however, will be remembered for a long time in Liverpool as the Reds came back from down 2-0 and 3-1 to win the game 4-3 and the tie 5-4 on aggregate. In the semifinals, Liverpool became the first non-Spanish side to eliminate a Spanish side in the knockout stages of the Europa League and the Champions League. They defeated Villarreal 3-0 in the second leg at home to advance to the final on the strength of a 3-1 victory. They are now set for the final and a potential Champions League place.

Manager

The new manager at Liverpool has captivated the city and made them believe again in their team. Jurgen Klopp took the reins at Liverpool in mid October and has slowly started to shape the team to his style. He has raised the spirits and will hope to win his first trophy with his new club just 8 months on the job.

One to Watch

Roberto Firmino took time to settle under Brendan Rodgers but has looked very bright under Jurgen Klopp. He has scored 11 goals and has 9 assists this season and looks to be getting more and more comfortable.

Probable Starting XI

Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Sturridge

Predictions

My Pick – Sevilla 2, Liverpool 1: Goals by Gamiero (2) and Firmino

James’ Pick – Sevilla , Liverpool : Goals by

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