Sevilla’s pursuit of a record-extending seventh Europa League title faces a stern test in the shape of West Ham United as the two sides go head-to-head in a handsome-looking last-16 tie on Thursday.
The Spaniards, who squeezed past Dinamo Zagreb in the knockout play-off round, have been handed home advantage for the first leg.
David Moyes’ men travel to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as Europa League Group H winners, having clinched a top spot in the section with a game to spare.
After switching over from the Champions League group phase, Sevilla won their first-leg match against Zagreb 3-1 before slumping to a 1-0 defeat in the return game.
That triumph over the Croatian champions made it 32 consecutive Europa League home matches without losing against non-Spanish opposition (W27, D5).
Los Rojiblancos are also unbeaten in their seven UEFA Cup/Europa League meetings with English clubs (W5, D2), including three single-tie victories across the past six years.
Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan has been a fortress of late, with Sevilla putting together ten consecutive home games without a single defeat (W7, D3) since a 2-1 loss to Lille in the Champions League group phase.
West Ham United
West Ham found their Europa League Group H campaign a stroll, going unbeaten in their opening five group stage fixtures (W4, D1) before Moyes’ understrength squad fell to a 1-0 loss to Zagreb on Matchday 6.
The Hammers have racked up just three victories in their last ten Europa League games outside England (D2, L5), yet they have scored 2+ goals in each of their three group travels this season.
It has been over 30 years since West Ham last met Spanish opposition in a European knockout match, although they have won both previous such ties.
However, excluding extra-time, the Irons have won none of their last five away matches in all competitions (D2, L3) without keeping a single clean sheet in that period.
Suso, Karim Rekik and Anthony Martial are all ruled out with injuries, while Lopetegui hopes to have Diogo Carlos fit for Thursday’s encounter.
Vladimir Coufal and Angelo Ogbonna are both injured in the West Ham camp, with Jarrod Bowen picking up a heel problem against Liverpool last time out.
Sevilla Potential Starting XI:
(4-3-3): Bono; Jesus Navas, Jules Kounde, Nemanja Gudelj, Ludwig Augustinsson; Joan Jordan, Fernando, Ivan Rakitic; Jesus Corona, Youssef En-Nesyri, Lucas Ocampos.
West Ham United Potential Starting XI:
(4-2-3-1): Alphonse Areola; Ben Johnson, Craig Dawson, Kourt Zouma, Aaron Cresswell; Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek; Nikola Vlasic, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals; Michail Antonio.
Sevilla vs West Ham United Prediction
West Ham have faltered away from home lately, but Sevilla’s propensity for drawing high-octane fixtures could support their bid to snap a two-game losing run on the road.
We expect the share of spoils in Andalusia.
Sevilla 1-1 West Ham United.
- Kylian Mbappe – Real Madrid or PSG?
- Manchester United plotting summer move for Raphinha
- Paris Saint-Germain confirm Angel Di Maria exit amid Juventus links
- Carlo Ancelotti confirms Isco will leave Real Madrid in the summer
- Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Preview – Prediction, team news, line-ups