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Both of these sides rode their luck slightly to get to this stage, but while it took Sevilla 88 minutes to break the deadlock against Wolves, having seen their opponents squander a penalty in the first half, Man United were taken into extra time by a plucky Copenhagen side.
Bruno Fernandes’ penalty was enough to see them qualify and that was the Red Devil’s 21st spot kick of the season, more than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues.
This is certainly the pick of the semis as both have serious pedigree in this competition in recent years, winning four of the last six editions between them. However, Sevilla’s record of five wins since 2005/06 in Europe’s second tier leaves us slightly bemused as to why they’re the underdogs.
Under 2.5 Goals
They’re currently on an incredible 19 match unbeaten run, winning seven of the last eight of those, while they’re defensive displays have been highly impressive.
Los Nervionenses have now gone 512 minutes without conceding a goal and have recorded seven clean sheets across their last eight games, resulting in ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ paying out in 10 of their last 13 matches.
That’s not to say that Man United haven’t been in form either. They’ve now lost just once in 24 matches now, which came against Chelsea in the FA Cup, while their previous game against Copenhagen was the first time they’ve failed to find the net in 21 matches over 90 minutes, and that was largely down to the heroics of Karl-Johan Johnsson between the sticks for the Danish outfit.
The 30-year-old pulled off 13 saves across the match, the joint most in a single Europa League game since 2009, so that mitigates Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men somewhat.
The English side’s defence hasn’t been as watertight of late, though excluding a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea which came courtesy of a brace of howlers from David de Gea, they’ve only conceded two in their last five.
What’s more, Sergio Romero has conceded just five goals in 17 matches this season which is an incredible return, so we can see another low scorer here.
We can’t bank on another Sevilla clean sheet, seeing as Man United boast a dangerous frontline of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, while they’re also never exempt from being awarded a penalty.
We would however be surprised to see a flurry of goals go in at either end, considering there will be some seriously tired legs out there, while the fact that this is just a one-legged tie means we’d be expecting a cagier affair than usual.
Six of the eight Europa League semis over the past two seasons have featured a maximum of two strikes, and we’ve happy to get behind that again, even at the short price.
ODDS FOR SEVILLA V MANCHESTER UNITED AVAILABLE HERE
ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 16/8/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS