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UEFA Europa League

  • May 1, 2014
  • • 3:05 PM
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: M. Mažić
  • • Attendance: 45938

Aggregate 3 - 3 Sevilla win on away goals

Valencia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi

Europa League Preview: Valencia - Sevilla

Valencia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi

Valencia will have to stage another stunning fightback when it faces Sevilla on Thursday if the club is to reach the UEFA Europa League final.

Valencia looked to be crashing out of the Europa League after the first leg of the club's quarterfinal tie with Basel following a 3-0 defeat in Switzerland, but mounted an incredible comeback in the Mestalla.

Paco Alcacer scored a hat trick as the La Liga side secured a stunning 5-0 win and Basel crumbled, but Valencia has again left itself with a lot to do in the return leg against its Spanish rival.

Quickfire goals from Stephane M'Bia and Carlos Bacca in the first half earned Sevilla a 2-0 advantage in the first game, with former Valencia boss Unai Emery getting one over on his old employer.

Both sides have enjoyed success in this competition in recent years.

Valencia lifted the trophy in 2004 under Rafael Benitez, while Sevilla is the only side to have defended the title since the tournament switched to a one-off final in 1998 - with wins in 2005 and 2006 against Middlesbrough and Espanyol respectively.

The prize for progressing to another final will be a clash with Italian giant Juventus or Portuguese champion Benfica in Turin on May 14.

The home side goes into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to title-chasing Atletico Madrid, a result which leaves the club eighth in La Liga table and unable to qualify for next year's competition through its league placing.

Valencia has had the better of the two league meetings this season, winning 3-1 at the Mestalla and then securing a goalless draw in Sevilla - and will need to make the most of home advantage again on Thursday.

Sevilla is enjoying a strong season under Emery, having won 13 of its last 17 games in all competitions.

The club was beaten 3-1 at Athletic Bilbao last time out, though, in a game which put a huge dent in the team's UEFA Champions League qualification hopes.

Emery's men are now six points behind Bilbao in the race for fourth place, with only three matches remaining, and an inferior head-to-head record with the Basque outfit.

Sevilla also had to come from behind in its quarterfinal, losing the first leg 1-0 in Porto, before hammering Luis Castro's men 4-1 in the return game in the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

The club will be hopeful Bacca - who has seven goals in this year's tournament and 21 in all competitions - can net a crucial away goal that could put the tie beyond the host team, but will be wary of the threat of Alcacer, whose treble in the comeback win over Basel moved him level with Bacca on seven goals in the competition.

Valencia duo Diego Alves and Philippe Senderos (both hamstring) are doubts, while Victor Ruiz (thigh) is definitely out.

The visiting side is without Sebastian Cristoforo (knee) and Denis Cheryshev (foot), while defender Daniel Carrico is a doubt with an ankle problem.

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