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Confirmed XI: De Gea, Lindelof and Fred start against Sevilla; Europa League final or bust

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Manchester United have reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League this season and will face Spanish side Sevilla at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Sunday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get the better of Julen Lopetegui’s side, who have done well this season and have beaten both AS Roma and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last matches in the competition. United will have a tough match on their hands.

United and Sevilla have met twice in European competition, playing in the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League during the 2017/18 season, in which they qualified for the completion by lifting the Europa League at the end of the 2016/17 season, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. It was a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Sevilla followed by a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester, which resulted in United exiting from the competition. United will need to do much better.

Both United and Sevilla have good records in the UEFA Europa League with the Spanish club winning the competition five times in the past 15 years, winning back to back titles on the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons then winning three in a row in the 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 seasons. Sevilla have made the semi-final stage five times, winning all of them and all five finals. United have reached one semi-final and final, winning both in the 2016/17 season. One of the club will lose their 100% record on Sunday evening in Cologne.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams;

Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero, Grant; Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Mengi; Mata, Lingard, Pereira, James, Matic, McTominay; Ighalo

Sevilla:

Bounou;

Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Reguilon;

Banega, Fernando, Jordan;

Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

Substitutes:

Vaclik, Sanchez, Gomez, Munir, Gudelj, Escudero, de Jong, Torres, Vazquez, Alonso, Genaro, Perez

United and Sevilla have met twice before, playing in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/18 season. On the 21 February 2018, it was a 0-0 draw in Seville with United failing to score an away goal, which was bad news for Jose Mourinho’s side. Three weeks later at Old Trafford, the Spanish side won 2-1 with Wassim Ben Yedder scoring a brace in the 74th and 78th minute with Romelu Lukaku scoring a consolation goal in the 84th minute of the match, exiting the competition.

Sevilla have played many times against English opposition; beating Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week. They have faced Liverpool, Manchester City, and Leicester City in the past five years and further back have faced Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers. United have played many teams from Spain including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad, and Athletic Club in the past decade with a few more clubs from Spain going back further in time.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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