Manchester United and Sevilla will contest the first semi-final of this year’s Europa cup competition. As it is the tradition with matches of this stature, different predictions and outcome of the encounter are being forecast. Manchester United are the bookmakers favourite to win the game, but the unpredictable nature of football makes the game an open affair.
Both teams defeated their quarter-final opponents with a single goal margin scored at the dying moments of the two matches. While Sevilla edged out Wolves, another English team; Manchester United saw off the threat of Copenhagen FC of Denmark.
History has a way of repeating itself. In a bid to predict this match, a look at the history and statistics between the clubs becomes imperative.
The first criteria to be considered is their head to head:-
The two clubs do not have much of a history between them as they have only met twice before this encounter. The only two meetings were in the last 16 of the 2017-18 Champions League, with Sevilla winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in the second leg, after a goalless draw in the first leg. This fact points positively to a Sevilla win if we want to use the head to head form as our yardstick.
Secondly, a look at their performances in European competition shows that both teams have been successful thus far. Let us analyse and spot a difference.
Manchester United have progressed to the final from each of their past four European semi-final appearances. These were in 2008, 2009 and 2011 Champions League. They also reached the final of 2017 Europa League. The English club succeeded in winning the trophy on two of those four occasions.
On the other hand, Sevilla has reached the Europa League semi-final on three previous occasions and gone on to win the tournament each time (2014, 2015, 2016). Sevilla undoubtedly edges Manchester United in this category too.
Finally, a look at the club’s form in negotiating knockout matches in Europe’s competitions gives us a significant difference. In this category, records show that in the past ten years, Manchester United has exited from Europe’s knockout stages several times.
Sevilla FC has only been eliminated once in the past 20 knockout ties in the competition. It happened when the lost 6-5 on aggregate to Slavia Prague in the last 16 in 2018-19.
Judging from the above, One can automatically give victory to the Spanish team. Unfortunately, victory does not come on a platter of gold as a full 90 minutes will determine the winner.