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Sevilla can create history against an unfancied underdog in tonight's Europa League final

The La Liga club are looking to retain the trophy against first-timers Dnirpo in Warsaw.

Sevilla's head coach Unai Emery instructs players during a training session last night.
Sevilla's head coach Unai Emery instructs players during a training session last night.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

SEVILLA CAN BECOME the first side ever to win four Europa League or UEFA Cup titles when the holders face a Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk side playing in their first major European final tonight (7.45pm).

Moreover, victory would also secure direct qualification to next season’s Champions League having missed out by just a point to Valencia in the battle for fourth place in La Liga.

“The growth that the team has experienced is thanks to what we feel for theEuropa League,” Sevilla boss Unai Emery told Uefa.com.

“It means something. The team want the fans to feel the vibrations that this competition gives us. We’ve achieved something that makes us bigger, it gives us prestige, it gives us a place in history and recognition in Europe for our hard work.

We can’t deny that we have the chance to write history. Of course we are grateful to have that chance, to be able to pursue this.

“We are aiming to achieve something with this team, with Sevilla. It shouldn’t feel like pressure or stop us from executing our game plan against Dnipro. It will serve more as motivation, like a dream we can achieve.”

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Final - Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v Sevilla - Training - Stadion Narodowy Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes. Source: Adam Davy

In contrast to the late goals and two penalty shootouts that led them to glory in last season’s Europa League, Emery’s men have been rampant this campaign losing just once in 14 games and scoring 26 goals in the process.

Dnipro’s unlikely road to Warsaw has been far more hard-fought as the Ukrainians have won just seven of their 16 matches in reaching the final.

However, having already upset the likes of Olympiakos, Ajax and Napoli, coach Myron Markevich is prepared for his side’s stiffest task yet in the Polish capital.

“We’ve studied Sevilla’s matches in the national championship and EuropaLeague thoroughly,” Markevich said.

“They’re very strong opponents. I consider Sevilla to be among Europe’s 10 strongest clubs.

“I expect a very hard encounter in Warsaw, but we want to show our best in the final.”

Ukraine Soccer Europa League Yevhen Seleznyov is doubtful. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Dnipro maintained their hopes of Champions League qualification through the Ukranian league with a 3-2 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the weekend despite Markevich resting a number of key players ahead of the final.

Yet, they could be without striker Yevhen Seleznyov, who scored both goals in the 2-1 aggregate semi-final win over Napoli, as he is a doubt with a knee injury.

Other than long-term injury absentees Nico Pareja and Sebastian Cristoforo, Sevilla have a clean bill of health with Timothee Kolodziejczak and Vitolo expected to be fit despite missing Saturday’s 3-2 win at Malaga due to injury.

And the Spaniards could have the local fans on their side too with Polish international Grzegorz Krychowiak set to start in midfield.

- © AFP, 2015

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