As was evidenced by the two close encounters that made up the first legs of the Champions League semifinals earlier in the week, at this stage of European competition there is very little to choose between the sides that remain, and so will be the case when the last four teams left in this season’s edition of the Europa League square off on Thursday night. An all-Spanish clash ensures that at least one team from the Iberian Peninsula will make it to the showpiece on May 14 in Turin, while another will set out to bring that number to two, depriving Juventus of a home-town final.
Europa League Semifinals Odds
Semifinals odds and free picks
Sevilla (8/11 and 4/5 to qualify) will be favourites to qualify from their Spanish derby with Valencia (9/2 and Evens to qualify), and will want to drive home their advantage in the first leg, which they will play at home. Unai Emery’s men are one of the form sides in Spain at the moment, having won nine of the last ten games in the league, a run which has taken them within touching distance of the fourth Champions League qualification spot. The last time these two sides met was in February, when they played to a goalless draw, in a game in which both sides finished with ten men on the pitch after Rakitic missed a penalty for the home Sevilla. This time much more will be at stake, but the kind of form that Sevilla are in at the moment, coupled with Valencia’s relative inconsistency, should make the passage of Emery’s men to the final in Turin the likelier of the two scenarios.
Losing finalists to Chelsea last year, Benfica (13/8 and 6/4 to qualify) host title favourites Juventus (19/10 and 1/2 to qualify) just a few days after having been crowned Portuguese champions for the 33rd time. A few injuries concerns have left coach Jorge Jesus looking to plug the gaps in his side in what will be the third encounter between these two sides in Europe. Juventus coach Antonio Conte played in both legs when his Juve side beat Benfica in the quarters of the 1992/93 Uefa Cup, a trophy he would go on to lift that that year. Some may see this is as a good omen, but in reality, Juventus have enough power and class in their side to make sure that they play the final on their home ground next month.
Keep up with the latest news and results by visiting the official UEFA Europa League website.