SEVILLA continue their tilt at a third consecutive Europa League crown on Thursday when they face Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) brings the bets.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport 2
No one rocks the Europa League like Sevilla do! Winners in 2005 and 2006 under it’s former guise the UEFA Cup, the Spanish side returned nearly a decade later with another double in 2014 and 2015. Sensational stuff.
Now in 2016 they’re ebbing ever closer to an incredible treble in this competition and it’s Shakhtar Donetsk who stand in their way at the semi-final stage. I get the impression this might be one history-making hurdle too far for the Spaniards.
Shakhtar have been exemplary in the Europa League so far with five wins from their six knockout matches. Schalke, Anderlecht and Sporting Braga have all been swept aside and Mircea Lucescu’s side seem to have improved as the competition has progressed.
It’s all a far cry from their Champions League campaign in the first half of the season where they lost five of their six matches in a tough group involving Real Madrid, PSG and Malmo. Perhaps the pain of that has fired them on here along with the loss of the domestic title to Dynamo Kiev.
Remember it’s only just over a year ago since Shakhtar held Bayern Munich to a draw in the Champions League Last 16 in their home country and of course they triumphed in this competition in 2009.
I fear for Sevilla due to their appalling away record this season. Unai Emery’s side have yet to record an away win in La Liga despite the fact we’re approaching the birth of May.
They lost all their Champions League away fixtures too and suffered defeat in Norway to Molde in a previous round of this competition. Their form is poor to say the least.
There is also the hunger factor. I can’t help feeling the Shakhtar players will want this more than their opponents. They’ll want to go one better than their compatriots Dnipro last year and claim the trophy. Sevilla already have two fresh in the their cabinet.
I’ll back Shakhtar to win on Thursday at 8/5 with BetVictor and with 22 goals notched in their last six home games I’m backing them (at decent prices) to score two or three here.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla – Shakhtar Donetsk to win (8/5 BetVictor)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla - Shakhtar Donetsk Over 1.5 Goals (11/8 William Hill)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla - Shakhtar Donetsk Over 2.5 Goals (5/1 William Hill)
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