Madrid, May 10 (IANS) Sevilla head to Turin for the first leg of their Europa League semi final against Juventus on Thursday, as the Spanish club aims to secure the title for an incredible seventh time.
Sevilla were underdogs against Manchester United in the quarterfinals and even more so when they quickly fell 2-0 behind in the first leg at Old Trafford. However, they fought back to draw that game 2-2 before producing a dominant display to win the return leg 3-0 in front of a packed and passionate home crowd.
Their recent resurgence can be attributed mainly to the arrival of Jose Luis Mendilibar as the replacement for Jorge Sampaoli as first-team coach, with the 62-year-old Basque uniting Sevilla’s talents into a cohesive unit, a Xinhua report said.
Sevilla have lost just one of their last nine matches since Mendilibar took over as coach, and the former Osasuna and Eibar coach is now targeting the most significant title of his lengthy coaching career.
“We have already had one great tie against Manchester United, and now we face another great team in Juventus, and I think it is going to be a similar experience,” he said in an interview with UEFA.
“If we can get to the final, it will be my greatest achievement in football,” added Mendilibar, who is accustomed to helping sides battle relegation on limited budgets.
“I have done good things with other teams, but nothing as big as this. This club is used to playing finals, and when they get to a final, they usually win,” he added.
Sevilla have a few injury concerns for the game, with Joan Jordan and Suso Fernandez both grappling with minor issues, while the club is cautiously handling Lucas Ocampos to avoid any muscle problems.