Sevilla v Zenit preview

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The teams meet in the first leg of their quarter-final in Spain with defenders Domenico Criscito and Igor Smolnikov as well as midfielder Danny and forward Hulk all missing through suspension.

Sevilla have won their last seven European games at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium while Zenit are without a victory in their last seven games against Primera Division opponents

“Sevilla have a lot of confidence and we are without key players,” Zenit’s Spanish midfielder Javi Garcia said to Marca newspaper.

“It’s clear that the important thing for us is to bring home a good result in view of our return leg, where we will be at full strength.

“We expect a difficult test. All of the teams that (Sevilla coach Unai) Emery has coached play good football.”

Zenit, coached by former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, are enjoying a good season.

They are unbeaten in their domestic league since November 8 and Sunday’s 1-1 home draw against Rubin Kazan lifted Zenit eight points clear of FC Krasnodar at the top of the Russian Premier League.

“We are in a good run of of form,” Garcia said. “We are doing well domestically but so are Sevilla.”

Sevilla trailed 2-0 against Barcelona on Saturday but hit back with two goals to earn a valuable point in their battle for Champions League football next season.

The Andalusian side are fifth in the Primera Division, three points adrift of Valencia, who are fourth.

The top four teams qualify for Champions League football next season.

“We are going to fight until the end to finish in the top four,” Sevilla winger Aleix Vidal said. “But we are also alive in the Europa League and we are really enthusiastic about going far in the competition.

“We’ve had two difficult ties to get to where we are.”

Sevilla won 4-2 on aggregate against Borussia Monchengladbach in the round of 32 and then beat Spanish side Villarreal 5-2 in the last 16.

“Those results have given us strength to go into this tie against Zenit with a lot of enthusiasm,” Vidal said. “We feel strong when playing at home and we hope to continue to do well.”

Sevilla, winners of the competition on three occasions, are without injured goalkeeper Beto but are hoping to recover defender Daniel Carrico, who is an uncertainty because of a muscular injury.