Mark O’Haire’s Europa League Tips – Shakhtar Donetsk v SevillaStats
Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk
Sevilla are odds-on to reach their third successive Europa League final having picked up a handy 2-2 draw in Ukraine last week.
Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk, Thursday 5th May 2016, 20.05, BT Sport 2
Juventus in 1998 were the last continental side to reach a European final in three years on the spin but Los Rojiblancos did require a late penalty to level the scores in Lviv and seize the initiative in this tie.
Unai Emery’s men will be buoyed by the news that eight of the previous 10 sides to draw 2-2 on their Europa League knockout travels have progressed. And clubs that picked up a score draw in the away first leg of a Europa League quarter or semi-final clash since 2007/08 have W5-D4-L0 when returning home for the second leg.
Double defending champions Sevilla have W11-D0-L1 in their last 12 Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan outings in this competition, keeping seven clean sheets and winning seven matches by more than a one-goal margin.
But they required penalties to see off La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao in the last-eight and it’s now just one win in seven across all competitions.
Espanyol were the latest team to sink Los Rojiblancos on the road on Sunday and although Emery’s troops have managed maximum points just once in four home fixtures, their longer-term trends are strong enough to presume Sevilla can keep their bid for a historic third Europa League title in a row alive here.
This season, the hosts have W22-D1-L5 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as the Andalusians have scored in each of their last 27 in front of their adoring supporters, as well as two or more in 19 of those encounters. Four of the top-five in La Liga have also been downed.
So I’m happy to snub their below-par recent run of form (W1-D2-L6) as Emery and his gang have had full focus on this competition for a few weeks now. However, it might not be a walk in the park considering their less than impressive defensive performances.
Sevilla have silenced just one of their last 10 opponents with seven of those matches resulting in winning Both Teams To Score bets. Visitors Shakhtar have struck 15 goals in their seven games since dropping down to the Europa League and I’d fancy the Ukrainians to score.
Where’s The Appeal?
A home success alongside BTTS is quoted at 2/1 and it’s a price that makes plenty of appeal, to me. And I’ll also throw in the Sevilla win by exactly one goal at 12/5 as it promises to be another nip and tuck meeting.
Shakhtar deserve great credit for thriving in their adopted home of Lviv and Mircea Lucescu’s men have come away from Schalke, Anderlecht and Braga with away victories in this competition already, so they’ll be confident of a fourth.
The Ukrainians have W5-D2-L0 on Europa League duty this term and warmed up for the match by beating domestic rivals and table-toppers Dynamo Kiev 3-0 with a weakened team at the weekend.
On the road in Europe since 2013/14 the Miners have W6-D4-L6, failing to net in eight of those 16 fixtures. The majority of those matches came in the Champions League and whilst they deserve plenty of respect, I just think Shakhtar may come up short, especially considering Fred’s suspended, skipper Darijo Srna is a major doubt and star man Alex Teixeira left in the winter.
Sevilla to win by exactly one goal (12/5)
Sevilla to win and Both Teams To Score (2/1)
*Prices correct at time of publication