The first Europa League semi final on Sunday in Cologne, Germany has Manchester United facing Sevilla in a matchup of four of the last six tournament champions. Both teams have already qualified for next year’s Champions League through their domestic campaigns but this is their only opportunity to add silverware in 2020. Sevilla have made Europa League their own tournament with five titles since 2005 and a three-peat from 2014-16 while United claimed the trophy in 2017.
These teams have met in a knockout round before with Sevilla eliminating Man United from the 2018 Champions League with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford after a first-leg 0-0 draw in Spain. Former coach Jose Mourinho left Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial on the bench in both games and Marcus Rashford in the opening leg, a scenario that is unlikely to happen Sunday.
Manchester United Outlook: Take Advantage of Chances
Manchester United has an historic European pedigree with 17 European semi finals three Champions League titles and a 2017 Europa League title. They secured Champions League play for next year with a third place Premier League win but are desperate for their first major trophy under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United won their quarterfinal over FC Copenhagen 1-0 thanks to a second-half penalty from Bruno Fernandes.
The big question for Solskjaer will be in goal and if he goes with Europa League mainstay Sergio Romero or the usual first choice David de Gea. Romero started the quarterfinal and secured his 12th clean sheet of the season in 17 starts with nine of those outings coming in Europa League.
Martial has a team-best 23 goals, one more than Rashford while teenager Mason Greenwood has scored 17 times. Bruno leads the Europa League with seven goals this year, two with United and five with Sporting CP. Greenwood has five goals in the competition while Martial has four.
Man United have just one loss in Europe this year, a 2-1 setback in group play in November. In their last four games they have won by a combined score of 13-1 as they aim for their sixth straight semifinal win in European competitions.
Sevilla Outlook: Keep it Rolling
Sevilla are the kings of the Europa League with just one loss in the knockout round in their last . They got to the semis by dispatching Roma 2-0 and Wolverhampton 1-0 in the last 10 days. Lucas Ocampos scored in the 88th minute to provide the winner against Wolves, his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Sevilla returned from the COVID break and kicked it into gear in La Liga with six wins and five draws in their final 11 games. Their last loss in any competition came on February 9 as they have gone 19 games without a loss.
After Ocampus, Munir El Haddadi has 10 goals, including a team-best five in Europa League. Goalie Yassine Bounou, usually the backup to Tomas Vaclik, has been great in Europa League with three goals allowed in eight starts.
Sevilla made it to the Round of 16 in the Europa League last year before being knocked out by Slavia Prague in a 6-5 aggregate.
Manchester United v. Sevilla Betting Lines By Realbookies Per Head
Manchester United +145 to win
Sevilla +199 to win
Over/Under 2 goals (O +100, U -133)
Both teams have been playing well since the COVID break with a combined one loss and both teams have more than competent back-up keepers who typically get Europa League starts. Look for the firepower to be ready to go from the opening whistle and don’t be surprised if each team is on the board in the first half.
Head to our favorite pay per head bookie site at https://www.vegastopdogs.com/articles/A-Pay-Per-Head-site-that-Accepts-Cryptocurrencies.cfm and take Over 2 goals (+100).