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The semi-final draw pitted Juventus against Benfica while Sevilla will take on Valencia in an all-Spanish affair, so here we rank the sides from favourites to underdogs

JUVENTUS
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Last opponents:
Lyon
Next opponents: Benfica
Ever since their Champions League elimination amidst the snow of Istanbul, Juventus have become hell-bent on being invited to their own party in Turin on May 14. That defeat to Galatasaray was easily the low point of the Bianconeri's season so far, but they have taken the Europa League seriously enough to move within 270 minutes of what could be the pinnacle of a memorable 2013-14 campaign.

Antonio Conte's side have held off the concerted challenge of Roma thus far in Serie A, and have produced the performances and results required to progress deep in the Europa League too, overcoming Trabzonspor, Fiorentina and, most recently, Olympique Lyonnais since stepping across the platforms on the continent.

While Carlos Tevez's five-year scoring drought in Europe continues, his influence on the Old Lady continues to yield positive results, and the midfield artistry of Andrea Pirlo and workrate of Arturo Vidal are unmatched within the three other squads remaining in the competition. Elsewhere, they have a strong defensive record, a goalkeeper supreme in Gianluigi Buffon, and a coach in Conte who has managed his troops well at every turn in their Europa League run so far.

If Juve can find a way past 2013 finalists Benfica, then the showpiece occasion at Juventus Stadium will be twice as grand as it already promises to be.

BENFICA
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Last opponents:
AZ
Next opponents: JUVENTUS
Benfica’s elimination from the Champions League group stages came as a huge blow but they quickly moved on and turned their attention to the Europa League. Jorge Jesus and his men were beaten in dramatic fashion in the final at the Amsterdam ArenA by Chelsea last season and they seem determined to make amends this term.

They first saw off PAOK without any noteworthy problems before shaking off Tottenham in a mouth-watering clash last month. Eredivisie outfit AZ then caused them relatively little trouble in the quarter-finals as they emerged victorious both away and at home, yet a real test now awaits against Juventus in the semi-finals.

SLB have shown over the past few years that they have the ability to upset any team and players such as Nicolas Gaitan, Lazar Markovic and Rodrigo will be desperate to show what they can do against the Serie A champions.

SEVILLA
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Last opponents:
Lyon
Next opponents: Benfica
They may have beaten Real Madrid only a few weeks ago, but Sevilla saved their best performance of the season for their comprehensive 4-1 dismantling of Porto in the quarter-final second leg. High-intensity pressing and quick transitions in attack caught the Portuguese side cold at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, meaning the tie was effectively over even before Coke's red card early in the second half.

Semi-final opponents Valencia may boast the tournament's sharpest marksman in Paco Alcacer, but Sevilla boast a clutch of attacking stars who can haul them out of trouble - as they have in the last two rounds. Carlos Bacca continues to score almost at will, Vitolo tormented Porto's defence on the flanks and Ivan Rakitic has been one of the finest playmakers in the competition.

Sevilla won the tournament on the last two occasions they reached the last four, in 2006 and 2007. Write them off at your peril.

VALENCIA
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Last opponents:
Basel
Next opponents: Sevilla
Valencia snatched victory from the clutches of defeat in the quarter-finals. Trailing 3-0 from the first leg in Basel, Juan Antonio Pizzi's team delivered a performance for the ages in overturning the tie, 5-3 after extra-time.

It's been a volatile campaign for Valencia, who have been competing with a young, threadbare squad all season long. Los Che have negotiated their way through the Europa League with dash after missing out on Champions League football in heartbreaking fashion to Sevilla on the last day of the season.

In the knockouts they overcame Dynamo Kyiv and Ludogorets before stunning Basel and will have their eyes trained on revenge over former coach Unai Emery's Sevilla.

In Paco Alcacer, Valencia possess the next big thing in Spanish football, while he is ably supported by enthralling talent like Fede and Juan Bernat.


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