Manchester United has a golden opportunity to repay the debt to Seville, the Spanish record holder in the number of titles in the European League football competition “Europa League” when they meet on Thursday in the first leg of the quarter-finals, while Juventus, Italy, hopes to continue his career in the competition in an effort to save his season.
It will be a retaliatory confrontation between Seville and Manchester United, who were knocked out by the Andalusian club from the final price of the Champions League in the 2017-2018 season (0-0 first leg in Seville and 1-2 back in Manchester) and the semi-finals of the “Europa League” in 2020 (2-1 in one match). as a result of the repercussions of the Corona virus).
And Seville is the fourth Spanish team to collide with the men of Dutch coach Eric Ten Hag in the competition, after they finished second in the group stage behind Real Sociedad and eliminated Barcelona from the qualifying playoffs to the final price, then Real Betis from the final price.
Seville is a guest on United led by Jose Luis Mendelibar, his third coach this season, and he is in his worst condition, especially locally, as he struggles to survive in the first division by occupying thirteenth place, five points behind the last places leading to the second division.
But the Andalusian club finds itself in the “favorite” competition to its heart, where its players are accustomed to fighting for the title and have shown signs of improvement under the leadership of Mendelibar, which gives them some hope to overcome the obstacle of United.
“I am convinced that Sevilla is more respected in Europe than the Spanish League, because of what he did in the European League, with many titles recently,” Mendilibar said in March, after assuming the position to succeed Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, referring to his coronation four times in the last nine years.
“In Manchester they will feel like the favourites, but with the respect of Sevilla,” he added.
“Unfortunately, (we) perform well in the European competition, unlike the domestic league. But we know the history of Seville in Europe,” said Croatian veteran midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
“Here in town, people say the Europa League is Sevilla’s favorite competition. It’s our thing because we’ve won it six times in the last 15 years or so. With all due respect to everyone who’s won it too, but in a way it’s our competition.”
Behind Seville, who have won the title six times, are compatriots Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Liverpool, with three titles each, while Manchester United lifted the cup once, in 2017.
Manchester United is presenting its best levels this season, led by its coach, Ten Hag, as it won the League Cup at the expense of its third-place partner, Newcastle, and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where it will meet Brighton on the 23rd.
United is playing the match in the absence of its 25-year-old international top scorer, Marcus Rashford, who scored 28 goals this season, due to a muscle injury.
“Marcus Rashford will not be available for Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla due to a muscle injury,” United said in a statement.
But United have the necessary weapons, led by Frenchman Anthony Martial, Jaidon Sancho and Dutchman Fout Fijkhorst, to pay back the debt to Seville and reach the semi-finals, where another summit awaits him against the winner of Italian Juventus and Portuguese Sporting, who excluded Arsenal, the Premier League leaders, from the final price by penalty kicks.
And the “Europa League” is of double importance to Juventus, who moved to the competition after finishing third in its group in the Champions League, as winning it would guarantee him his participation in the mother continental competition next season, which is currently excluded through the local league after 15 points were deducted from his balance for accusing him of financial manipulation. , which puts him eight points away from fourth place after 29 stages.
“It will be a great match against a strong opponent,” said Juventus star and current coordinator of football operations at the club, Gianluca Pesotto. “Sporting showed how strong it is against Arsenal and wants to achieve a good result, just like us.”
The Turin giants had previously faced Sporting only once during the 2017-2018 Champions League season, when they beat them 2-1 in the first leg at home and drew 1-1 in Lisbon in the group stage.
And the date is renewed between Italian Roma and Dutch Feyenoord, who faced each other last May in the final of the “Conference League” competition, when “Galorossi” emerged victorious with the goal of Niccolo Zaniolo, to meet in the other confrontation in the quarter-finals Bayer Leverkusen with the surprising Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium.