Sevilla coach Unai Emery is looking forward to the ‘huge challenge’ as his side looks to make history in the Europa League final against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Sevilla travel to the Swiss city of Basel looking to become the first side to win the Europa League for three consecutive seasons, but they will have a difficult night against a Liverpool who defeated Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal on the way to the final.
Although Liverpool failed to qualify for Europe in their domestic competition, the side coached by Jurgen Klopp has improved considerably since his arrival, both in terms of football and in spirit and can expect the support of tens of thousands of fans both inside and outside the San Jakob Park Stadium, which has a capacity for just over 30,000 supporters.
“Liverpool are a great rival and they have a long history and they are also in good form in the competition,” said Emery, who will take all 25 members of his squad except for Michael Khohn-Delhi, who needed a knee operation after the first leg of the semi-final.
Left back Benoit Tremoulinas and central defender Marco Andreolli are also unfit to play, but have travelled as a display of unity.
“The fact that we are about to play our third consecutive final says a lot about how attentive we have been in the competition and how much we have worked to try and win the Europa League,” said 44-year-old Emery.
“We have to see these moments as something special, because it is special to play finals and to try and win titles and for the club’s name to be known throughout Spain and Europe. As professionals it helps us feel that we are improving and growing,” he added.
Sevilla finished seventh in Spain’s BBVA Primera Liga despite their record of failing to win away from home all season. They will also play in the Spanish King’s Cup final next Sunday against Barcelona.
With players such as Vitolo and Kevin Gameiro in the Sevilla attack on Wednesday, Emery’s side is slight favorite on Wednesday for a game which doesn’t just promise the glory of a third successive title, but also the chance to play in next season’s Champions League and the financial rewards that competition offers.