Sevilla V Inter Milan: Game on!
It’s MEGA, it’s MIGHTY, it’s the Europa League Final!
The Spanish powerhouse Sevilla head to the Rhein Energie Stadion in Cologne this Friday, hoping to take home European glory and their sixth win in the European League.
Despite having won the trophy the most times in the contest’s history, they face some stiff competition from Italian giants Inter Milan (Internazionale).
Three-time Europa winners Inter, will be looking to catch up with the Andalusians and hoist the trophy for the first time since 1998.
Fast match facts
Before the two titans slog it out for the trophy, let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts behind the teams and the contest in general.
Let’s kick off by saying that this will be the first time Sevilla has met Inter Milan in the final of the Europa League. In fact, this marks the 6th time in 11 seasons of the league final, that two teams who hadn’t met each other before, battled it out for the trophy.
The last time this happened was in the 2016 final where Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1, at St Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland.
Sevilla are the most successful club to win the Europa League, reaching the final on six occasions and winning in five of them.
The Andalusians previously raised the trophy in 2006 (against Middlesbrough), 2007 (against Espanyol), 2014 (against Benfica), 2015 (against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk) & 2016 (against Liverpool).
This is the 10th UEFA European Final for Internazionale. Their last appearance was in their 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich in the 2010 UEFA Champions League Final. This places Inter Milan as the 9th European club to play in 10 UEFA Finals.
They are also third place in UEFA appearances behind Italian rivals AC Milan and Juventus.
One game left
There have been 196 matches in this year’s contest, with the final marking the 197th. There have been 543 goals scored in the tournament, almost 20% (97) of them being scored in the bracket between the 61st and 75th minute.
Manchester United scored 25 goals in the contest, the highest recorded this season. This is followed by Swiss team Basel with 21 and Sevilla with 20. Inter Milan chalked up 13 goals this season.
A close one
It’s going to be a very close game this Friday, observers are saying.
UEFA’s Sevilla Reporter, Joe Walker speculates that Sevilla’s manager Julen Lopetegui will be arranging the Andalusians for a fast-paced game that won’t give Inter a chance the to breathe. Lopetegui could also employ a flexible strategy of 4-3-3 in attack and 4-5-1 when not in possession of the ball.
Paolo Menicucci, UEFA’s Inter Milan reporter, considers that Antonio Conte is unlikely to change the starting 11 for the final. With the same players having competed in the last three games, he may choose to stick with the winning formula. Inter Milan’s strategy seems to focus on pressing the attacks from the back, with long balls to Lukaku.
Mr Green asked resident Spanish football pundit, Pedro Calderón for his two cents. He was impressed by the two team’s performance throughout the tournament, but he also projected a physically brutal 90 minutes to come.
‘The Europa League final on Friday brings together two teams in great shape. Sevilla is set to continue their legendary European streak in a competition that gives them an extra edge; but Conte´s Inter was impressive in their semi-final against Shakhtar.
‘While the Andalusians want to inscribe their name for the sixth time in the records of their talisman competition, Lautaro, Lukaku and co. stand in their way in their first European final since 2010.’
Where will you be this Friday?
Will the Andalusians chalk up a record sixth trophy win this Friday or can the Black N’ Blues grab their fourth and end over 20 years of hurt?
Grab your virtual seat for the action and join us for the 49th Europa League Final this Friday.
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