PREVIEW: LIVERPOOL V SEVILLA: KLOPP AND EMERY PREPARE FOR CRUCIAL EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL

The two managers are aware of the
magnitude of the Europa League final between
Liverpool and Sevilla, with the winners taking
a place in next season’s Champions League
The stakes are high for the first competitive
meeting between Liverpool and Sevilla in
Wednesday’s Europa League final.
The two teams have been in seven finals of
the competition between them and won on
every occasion, but something has to give in
Basel with a spot in the Champions League
group stage on offer to the victors.
Sevilla are record four-time winners of
Europe’s secondary competition, lifting the
trophy in 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015 and they
are now looking to make history by winning it
for a third straight year.
But Liverpool, who had success in 1973, 1976
and 2001 as well as being five-time
Champions League winners, also have a fierce
continental pedigree.
The Reds have won eight of their previous 11
major finals in Europe, but manager Jurgen
Klopp is hoping to end an unpleasant personal
streak that has seen him lose four cup finals
in a row with Borussia Dortmund and the
Reds – a Champions League final, two DFB-
Pokals and this year’s League Cup loss to
Manchester City.
“I expect it to be intense, of course,” Klopp
told Uefa. “There will be challenges all over
the pitch, there will be a lot of fight. You
cannot win a cup with just ‘a little bit of
playing football’. You have to show that
you’re really ready for the big moments.
“It’s a 50-50 situation – nobody is favourites,
nobody is already halfway there. It’s an
intense game with all the circumstances – the
hours before a final, and things like this – but
for me, the bigger the pressure, the cooler I
get.
“We will try everything to take the opportunity.
It is difficult – we know. It is against Sevilla –
we know. But we will be prepared, 100 per
cent. We deserve to be a part of the final –
100 per cent. And who deserves to be in a
final can win and that’s what we’ll try.
“It is a European final and so what could be
bigger? I know a week-and-a-half later is the
Champions League final, but that is the only
bigger game until the European
Championships.
“It feels pretty good. When I came here I
couldn’t imagine that this could happen
because there was still a long way to go.
“I like this tournament. The whole European
journey has been really easy for us to enjoy.
We’ve had big, wonderful Anfield nights and
my team has put in some fabulous
performances.”
Sevilla coach Unai Emery is looking to write
his name into the history books by
masterminding another European success and
will hope striker Kevin Gameiro can continue
his stunning form.
Gameiro has played a part in nine of Sevilla’s
14 goals in this season’s competition, scoring
seven and setting up two.
“Playing in all these finals and winning these
titles generated a lot of emotion which makes
this a very special time to be at Sevilla,”
Emery told Uefa.
“Sevilla are a historic club and have always
had good spells, but this period we’re going
through right now is full of joy and passion
that stem from playing in those finals and
winning the titles.
“Sevilla care about this competition. You have
to come up with the goods and rise to the
challenge to go a long way in this
competition. The fact that this is our third
consecutive final demonstrates how focused
and hungry we have been to do well in the
Europa League, and win it.
“It’s a challenge [to face Liverpool], in the
sense of having to face big opponents with a
distinguished history, and who currently have
a lot of momentum in this competition –
which also represents a route into next
season’s Champions League.
“There will certainly be a lot of [Liverpool]
fans at the final. What motivates us the most
is to play a great match against a big team
and achieve our objective of winning.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (knee)
came off the bench to return from over five
weeks out against West Brom on Sunday and
Klopp is hoping Divock Origi (ankle) will be
passed fit, but Mamadou Sakho is
suspended.
Sevilla have been without Michael Krohn-Dehli
(knee) and Jose Antonio Reyes (appendix)
since April.

Key Opta Stats:
– Liverpool have won each of their two
European finals against Spanish opposition,
beating Real Madrid in the 1981 European Cup
and Alaves in the 2001 UEFA Cup.
– Liverpool have lost only one of their 14
games in the Europa League this season (W6
D7), that was against Villarreal in the semi-
final first leg (1-0).
– Liverpool have had 11 different scorers in
this season’s Europa League, more than any
other team.
– Spanish clubs have won seven of the last
12 editions of the Europa League/UEFA Cup
(Sevilla 4, Atletico Madrid 2, Valencia 1).
– Sevilla have won three of their eight
European games against English opposition
(D2 L3), including a 4-0 win over
Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup final.

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