Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla

Holders Sevilla will attempt to put one foot in the Europa League final when they face Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their semi-final tie at Arena Lviv on Thursday night.

Europa League
28 April 2016
Semi-final, first leg
Kick-off 20:05 GMT

Venue: Arena Lviv

Referee: S. Marciniak
Assistants: P. Sokolnick, T. Listkiewicz
Fourth official: R. Siejka

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Shakhtar 2 0 1 1
Sevilla 2 1 1 0

Previous encounter:

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-3 Sevilla (AET) 15/03/2007

Shakhtar goalscorers: Matuzalem (49'), Elano (83')

Sevilla goalscorers: E. Maresca (53'), A. Palop (90'), J. Chevanton (105')

Players to watch:

Shakhtar have plenty of players capable of putting the ball in the back of the net, despite having lost the services of Ukrainian Premier League top-scorer Alex Teixeira during the January transfer window.

Eduardo has scored 10 league goals this season and netted in each of the two-legged last-16 encounters against Anderlecht. Hirnyky will be looking to the striker's vast experience to help them get past Los Rojiblancos, who are seeking an unprecedented third straight Europa League crown.

The Andalusians will also be wary of Brazilian duo Marlos and Taison, who have chipped in with a number of goals domestically and on the continent between them.

Kevin Gameiro will likely hold the key to Unai Emery's side going all the way in Basel, with the French striker in red-hot form having scored six goals in his last seven appearances across all competitions, including one in the quarter-final second leg against Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Gameiro has 16 goals to his name in La Liga this term, with another four in the Europa League and he will be a marked man in both legs. 

Team form and manager quotes:

Mircea Lucescu's men are unbeaten in their last seven outings across all competitions, although they head into this fixture on the back of two successive draws domestically.

Taras Stepanenko revealed they are out for revenge after being knocked out of the tournament by the same opponents in 2007, with goalkeeper Andres Palop having scored for Sevilla to force extra-time.

"It was a painful defeat. Mr Lucescu told us about it in training, and some of the older players remember it," defensive midfielder Stepanenko told UEFA.

"It was hard for them to concede a goal from Sevilla's goalkeeper in the last minute – things like that don't normally happen. We would like some revenge for that."

Emery's team recorded a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Real Betis on Sunday, which halted a five-game winless run in the league to keep their European hopes alive.

The Spanish club find themselves three points shy of the top-six in seventh spot with three matches left to play.

Emery hailed the response from his players against Betis, which put them in good stead for the clash with the Ukraine giants.

"The team have responded to difficult moments in the League, Copa [del Rey], Champions League and Europa League," he said.

"We've been strong because the fans have been with us. This win gives us confidence and possible access to fifth place.

"We'll look for [fifth] in every game we have left. Now we'll go with strength to the tie against Shakhtar [Donetsk]. The important thing is that the team are alive."

Team news:

The hosts welcome back Yaroslav Rakitskiy, who scored in the quarter-final first leg against Braga but was suspended for the second leg.

However, Fred misses out once again as the forward continues to serve a ban, while Marcio Azevedo is ruled out through injury.

The visitors will be without skipper Jose Antonio Reyes, who had his appendix removed on Tuesday.

Adil Rami is rated doubtful with a groin injury, which could see Daniel Carrico deputise in central defence, while Benoit Tremoulinas and Vitolo remain unavailable.

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