Juventus host Sevilla in their UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday in Turin with a final place in mind.
The Bianconeri survived Sporting scare in the previous round and they are seen as favourites to eliminate the La Liga outfit in the upcoming double-header. Their confidence is further boosted by the fact that they are sitting second on the Serie A table and beat Atalanta over the weekend to boost their hopes of returning to the Champions League next season.
Los Sevillanos, on the other hand, have been in fine form of late, with the team winning four of their last five league matches. Jose Luis Mendilibar’s troops eliminated Manchester United in the previous round and their pedigree in this competition shouldn’t be taken lightly.
In four meetings in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Juventus have had more or less the better of Sevilla: (W2 D1 L1). The Spanish side has not scored in either of their previous games in Turin, but Juve has lost their last two home games against Liga clubs.
30 September 2015 – Juventus 2-0 Sevilla – Champions League
8 December 2015 – Sevilla 1-0 Juventus – Champions League
14 September 2016 – Juventus 0-0 Sevilla – Champions League
22 November 2016 – Sevilla 1-3 Juventus – Champions League
Juventus have no major injury worries with Dusan Vlahovic, Federico Chiesa, and Filip Kostic all pushing for a start. This list has Paul Pogba too who started from the bench in the club’s last outing and the hosts should be boosted too by the return of Leandro Paredes from the domestic ban.
Visitors, Sevilla has major doubts on Nianzou Kouassi while both Teixeira Marcao and Joao Jordan are sidelined with injuries. Tanguy Nianzou is back in training and could make a timely return from injury to bolster the back line.
Probable Line Ups:
Juventus XI: Szczęsny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Fagioli, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostić; Di María; Vlahović
Sevilla XI: Bounou; Navas, Badé, Gudelj, Acuña; Fernando, Rakitić; Ocampos, Óliver Torres, Lamela; En-Nesyri
Juventus have won four of their last five games in the Europa League with Sevilla losing four of their last five away trips in this competition. Juventus have never been beaten at home in the Europa League since the rebrand in 2009, while they’ve won four of their last five games in this competition.
Since the UEFA Cup was rebranded as the Europa League, no side can match Sevilla’s achievements in the competition. They’ve made the last four more times than any other team in that time, as they prepare for their fifth semi-final in under ten years.
Verdict: Juventus win
Juventus has been scoring goals from different faces in recent games and it’s hard to know who will pop up with the goodies on Thursday. That said, the opposition should be wary of Vlahovic who has scored in the club’s last two games.
The Moroccan was recently named La Liga player of the month for April and would like to cap that with a good performance on Thursday. There have been rumours that bigger clubs in Europe are after him and this game is another perfect audition for him after tormenting Manchester United in the last round.
Extra tips 👇
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Safe bet – Over 1.5
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