Isn’t this knock-out European football exciting? It’s like a World Cup of clubs and one which absolutely benefits the smaller team – those one-off giant killings can’t be overturned in dramatic second legs this way.
Sevilla and Wolves are fairly well balanced. Ish. Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga with 70 points last season, while Wolves finished seventh with 59. Sevilla move the ball really nicely, Wolves are direct, quick and powerful. Nuno Esperito Santo is proud of that too:
“I am very proud,” he said in a pre-match press conference. “Now I think we can see we have our own identity, which is based on strong foundations of respect and hard work.
“This is what we show against Sevilla – a good team, with a strong identity and committed to the challenge.
“There hasn’t been one day where the group hasn’t been committed.
“This is a special group of players, no doubt about it.”
Ruben Neves made his debut for Porto under Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui, a name you remember as the guy who lost both the Real Madrid and Spain jobs within a few weeks during a disastrous spell for him. A talented coach, he’s been able to restore some credit for himself with his work at Sevilla, but Neves will know his methods well. He’s almost like an insider. Also: he is not.
“We know they have won the tournament before but it’s a different tournament now with just one leg,” said Neves.
“It’s hard for every team. There are very good teams in the tournament so it’s a completely different way to play the Europa League.
“It will be like a final for us and for Sevilla. I hope we can go through to the semis.”
Kick off is at 8pm and you can watch all the action on BT Sport, seeing as they own all the European rights for everything. The winner of this match goes through to a semi-final with either Manchester United, Inter Milan, Basel or Shakhtar Donetsk. Both teams will be very keen to avoid the Italian or English opponent.
Follow the match with us here in this liveblog, where we’ll provide live updates and analysis throughout.