- On Sunday, August 16, Sevilla meets Manchester United in the semifinal of the UEFA Europa League
- United starts as narrow favorites but Sevilla are the past masters of this competition
- We’ll preview the game, look at the odds, some stats, and offer a pick
The UEFA Europa League has finally reached its semifinal stage, with the quarters, semis, and final being all played as one-off ties in Germany. In semifinal 1, to be played in Cologne on Sunday, August 16, KO 4:00 pm EST, Sevilla meets Manchester United, while the following night, Inter Milan plays Shakhtar Donetsk.
We’ll concentrate on the Sevilla/United clash, preview the game, list the odds, compare some stats, and offer a pick.
Sevilla vs Manchester United Europa League Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings|
|Sevilla||-1 (+480)||+200||Ov 1.5 (+205)|
|Manchester United||+1 (-715)||+145||Un 1.5 (-286)|
Odds taken Aug 12
United On the Hunt for Silverware
Manchester United earned their place in the semifinal with a narrow 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen; a Bruno Fernandes penalty in the third minute of extra-time being just enough to edge them past a spirited Danish team, who pushed United far harder than the pundits and bookies expected. In the end, it was United’s extra quality and European know-how that saw them emerge from a tricky evening and set up this titanic clash with Sevilla.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 11, 2020
A semifinal against the team that finished fourth in La Liga, and who will be playing Champions League soccer next season, promises to be a big test for United but the Red Devils start as favorites, mainly due to a campaign that has had a couple of lows but some seriously impressive highs. After winning a fairly easy-looking group without ever looking totally convincing – including a 2-1 defeat by Astana of Kazakhstan – they drew with Club Brugge away before blowing them away at Old Trafford in the round-of-32. Their round-of-16 aggregate win over LASK of Austria included a 5-0 away win, just before lockdown, and led them to the quarter-final tie with FC Copenhagen.
Sevilla On Fire
Sevilla, meanwhile, are Europa League royalty – the most decorated team in the tournament’s history. They made it to the semifinal thanks to an outstanding 1-0 win over Wolves in Duisburg, a game decided by a late header from Lucas Ocampos’. This win followed an equally outstanding 2-0 victory over Roma in the round-of-16, but it was in the round-of-of-32 where they had their biggest test; drawing both legs with CFR Cluj before going through on the away-goals rule. Their group form was almost perfect – only a final day defeat by APOEL spoiling a 100 percent record.
🚨 FULL TIME IN DUISBURG!!!! 🚨
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) August 11, 2020
Worth noting here is that the Spaniards’ fine form hasn’t been confined to just the Europa League and in finishing fourth in La Liga, they were unbeaten in their final 10 league games, winning five and drawing five.
Sevilla vs Manchester United UEL Head-to-Head Stats
|10 / 7||Games played / Wins||11 / 8|
|5-2 vs Dudelange (a)||Biggest win in 2019/20 UCL||5-0 vs Brugge (h) & LASK (a)|
United On Upward Curve
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, this competition offers the only chance of silverware this season, but it’s a club in transition, and everything points to one on an upward curve. Solskjaer looks to be molding a squad that’s destined, in the next few seasons, to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City for the top honors, domestically and in Europe. A Europa League win would be the first step on that journey, and it’s one that will continue next season in the UEFA Champions League, regardless of the outcome here due to United’s third-place finish in the EPL.
It was United’s extra quality and European know-how that saw them emerge from a tricky evening against FC Copenhagen.
Lopetegui On Road to Redemption
Sevilla manager, Julen Lopetegui, is also on the hunt for silverware with his new club, following on from a nightmare spell in charge at Real Madrid, which followed an equally disastrous spell in charge of the Spain national team. His first trophy as manager of Sevilla would be seen as another step on his road to redemption after. In his first season at Sevilla, they finished level on points with the mighty Atletico Madrid, and have already threatened to gatecrash Spain’s big three.
So, with Champions League soccer already assured for both teams, a chance to lift a trophy is the big driver here. For United, trophies are expected, even if they have been hard to come by in recent seasons, and for Sevilla, a record sixth win would confirm their places in the record books. The incentive for both is huge.
For me, although United are favorites, they have had enough not-so-good days this season to suggest that Sevilla’s form and experience of winning this competition my be enough for them to edge it. That fine unbeaten run has instilled a winning mentality that United my find difficult to overcome.
Pick: Sevilla to win (+200)