Inter Milan vs Sevilla: the road to the 2019/20 Europa League final

On Friday evening, continental specialists Sevilla and Serie A giants Inter Milan meet at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne to contest the 197th and final fixture of the 2019/20 Europa League.

The competition’s showpiece fixture pits two of Europe’s most experienced coaches – Antonio Conte and Julen Lopetegui – against each other in a meeting of keen tactical minds and contrasting philosophies, and both managers will be desperate to land their first pieces of silverware with their respective clubs.

Both Inter and Sevilla had to navigate their way through testing European campaigns to reach Friday’s Final in Germany – below we take a look back at their journeys and key moments, as well as the key players to watch out for in Cologne.

For a more detailed analysis of the game and more exclusive betting tips, check out our Sevilla vs Inter Milan predictions.

Sevilla

Julen Lopetegui Sevilla

How did they get there?

With three Europa League titles inside the last six seasons and five tournament victories overall since 2006, Sevilla are the competition’s most successful ever club.

Considered as dark horses from the outset, Los Nervionenses took their first steps towards the 2020 final in the tournament’s Group Stage last year, where they topped their section with ease ahead of APOEL, Qarabag and Dudelange, taking 15 points from the 18 on offer.

In the Last 32, Sevilla endured a wobbly moment or two in an away goals victory over a spirited CFR Cluj side over a nervy double-legged tie, before the experienced Spaniards cranked up the intensity with a fine 2-0 win over Roma in the Last 16.

Sevilla continued their surge for silverware with a narrow 1-0 win over Premier League side Wolves in the quarter-finals in a rounded performance that probably deserved a wider margin of victory, though Julen Lopetegui’s charges were perhaps fortunate to squeeze past Manchester United in the semi-finals.

With keeper Yassine Bonou in inspired form, a slew of glaring United chances went unfinished, and the wily, battle-hardened La Liga side displayed a clinical edge, notching two goals from three shots on target to oust the Red Devils.

Sevilla Europa League results

19 September to 12 December – Group Stage

Qarabag 0-3 Sevilla

Sevilla 1-0 APOEL

Sevilla 3-0 Dudelange

Dudelange 2-5 Sevilla

Sevilla 2-0 Qarabag

APOEL 1-0 Sevilla

20 February – Last 32 first leg

CFR Club 1-1 Sevilla

27 February – Last 32 second leg

Sevilla 0-0 CFR Cluj

06 August – Last 16

Sevilla 2-0 Roma

11 August – Quarter-Final

Wolves 0-1 Sevilla

16 August – Semi-Final

Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United

Sevilla key players

Lucas Ocampos Sevilla

Lucas Ocampos – Versatile Argentine attacker Lucas Ocampos is the most potent attacking threat in a Sevilla team that sometimes lacks punch in the final third. The 26-year-old’s 16 goals this term is already the biggest haul for a single season in his career, though Ocampos, who has only scored once in the UEL, will be keen to improve that record on Friday.

Ever Banega – Accomplished midfield maestro Ever Banega likes to mix his superb technique with his mastery of the game’s dark arts for Sevilla, and the veteran schemer has the ability to dominate proceedings in the middle of the park against anyone. The 32-year-old has been consistently superb in the knockout rounds of the Europa League.

Sergio Reguilón – Flying full-back Reguilon adds pace and dynamism to Sevilla’s attacking play from deep positions. The defender, who is on loan from Real Madrid, dominated his flank against Man Utd in the semis, and the 23-year-old should have his pick of clubs should Los Blancos decide to move him on this summer.

Sevilla Key Stats

  • Under 2.5 goals hit the net in six of Sevilla’s last seven Europa League fixtures.
  • Sevilla conceded just one goal – a Bruno Fernandes penalty – in their last four UEL assignments.
  • Sevilla’s 65.1% possession per game average is the highest in the Europa League this season.
  • Their 88.7% pass completion rate is also the highest in the tournament.
  • Centre-half Diego Carlos was booked in each of Sevilla’s last three Europa League fixtures.

Inter Milan

Samir Handanovic Inter Milan

How did they get there?

Inter Milan began their continental adventure in the Europa League’s more glamorous sister competition, the Champions League, last year.

With new manager Antonio Conte at the helm and an aggressive summer recruitment drive that saw Inter sign Romelu Lukaku, Valentino Lazaro, Nicolo Barella and Diego Godin among others, the Nerrazurri were tipped to launch an assault for major honours in 2019/20.

However, Inter’s anticipated Serie A title challenge never arrived, and the club were dumped out of the Champions League at the Group Stage, finishing third in a tough section behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.

After their demotion to the Europa League, Inter found the going much easier, dismissing Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets 4-1 in the Last 32 over two legs, before knocking Getafe out in the Last 16 with a 2-0 victory over the stubborn La Liga side.

In the quarter-finals, goals from summer signings Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku allowed Inter to progress at fancied Bayer Leverkusen’s expense, before the Belgian centre-forward helped himself to two more in the Nerrazurri’s emphatic 5-0 win over Ukrainian heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk in the semis.

Lukaku’s strike against Bayer made him the first player in the competition’s history to score in nine straight Europa League games, and the ex-Man Utd hitman extended that record to double digits against Shakhtar on Monday.

Inter Milan Europa League results

20 February – Last 32 first leg

Ludogorets 0-2 Inter Milan

27 February – Last 32 second leg

Inter Milan 2-1 Ludogorets

05 August – Last 16

Inter 2-0 Getafe

10 August – Quarter-Final

Inter 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

17 August- Semi-Final

Inter 5-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter Milan key players

Diego Godin Inter Milan

Diego Godin – The vastly experienced campaigner might be reaching the twilight years of his career at 34, however, Godin’s defensive knowhow and ability to organize have been invaluable for Antonio Conte’s team. The ex-Atletico stalwart was superb in each of Inter’s UEL knockout wins over Getafe, Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar.

Romelu Lukaku – The prolific Belgian forward was one of the Premier League’s most lampooned players before he swapped Manchester United for Inter last summer, though the 27-year-old has since rebuilt his reputation and proved many of his doubters wrong by notching 33 goals in his maiden season with the Italians.

Marcelo Brozovic – Croatian midfielder Brozovic is one of Inter’s most reliable operators, combining silky passing with a combative streak to great effect in central areas. With 10 bookings, Brozovic is prone to a mis-timed tackle or two, though his consistently good performances make him a key component of Conte’s team.

Inter Milan Key Stats

  • Inter enjoyed just 47.3% of the ball on average in their games en-route to the Europa League Final.
  • Romelu Lukaku is Inter’s top scorer in the UEL with six goals, though the Beligan needs two goals in the final to match Bruno Fernandes’ eight goal haul in the tournament.
  • Inter scored five goals in the semi-final against Shakhtar, having notched two or fewer goals in all but one of their other UEL and UCL matches this season.
  • Diego Godin tops the pile for both average tackles (2.6) and avearge clearances (4.6) made for Inter in the Europa League this term.
  • Inter kept just five clean sheets in 11 European fixtuers overall this season.

Europa League Final odds

Sevilla: 12/5

Draw: 23/10

Inter Milan: 6/5


How to watch the Europa League Final

Broadcaster BT Sport have rights to screen the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League in the UK, and they have been covering every minute of the action exclusively across their package of channels including BT Sport, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3 and BT Spot Extra.

On Friday, the competition’s Final will be screened live with a 20:00 kick-off on BT Sport 1, BT Sport Extra 1 and BT Sport Ultimate.


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