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Sevilla hoping to end Benfica's quadruple dream

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Last season Benfica were defeated in the final of the Europa League by one of Europe's best known sides - Chelsea.

This year, the team aiming to ruin their European party is Spanish side Sevilla, but what do you know about the Spanish side?

With the Europa League final taking place tonight, we thought we'd give you the low-down on the men looking to end the quadruple dream for Benfica.

Manager

42-year-old Unai Emery is best known for his time at Valencia, where he managed to secure Champions League football amidst a host of financial issues.

Star players such as David Villa and David Silva were sold but, under Emery, Valencia consolidated their position as the third team in Spain.

A brief spell in Russia followed Emery' s 2012 departure from Valencia but shortly after his sacking from Spartak Moscow he was back in Spain, this time with Sevilla.

In his first full season back in Spain, Emery looks like securing a Europa League spot despite losing star names such as Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Gary Medel at the start of the season.

Star player

Having lost the likes of Negredo, Navas and Medel in the summer, Sevilla were desperate for someone to step up and take on the role of talisman, and Ivan Rakitic was that man.

The Croatian was named captain at the start of the season and he's flourished in his new role, netting 13 times from midfield - including a penalty in the quarter final tie with Porto.

Rakitic is far more effective on the ball than off it, but his leadership will be crucial if Sevilla are to lift the Europa League.

Road to the Final

Sevilla's road to Turin has been full of Drama since the knock-out stages of the competition began, and anyone who's witnessed some of their earlier ties will be expecting something similar in Italy.

In the round of 16 they required penalties to overcome city rivals Real Betis, while they looked like missing out on a place in the final until a last-gasp Stephane M'bia header sent them through on away goals despite a 3-1 second-leg defeat to Emery's former club Valencia.

If their run to the final has proven anything, it's that Benfica will have to be at the races for the entire 90 minutes if they're to avoid final heartbreak.

Europa League history

Unlike Benfica, Sevilla have enjoyed their forays into European competition in the last decade, and in 2006 and 2007 they won consecutive UEFA Cup titles.

A lot has changed since then, and not a single member of the current first team was involved in those two finals but the Sevilla fans will remember it like it was yesterday.

In contrast, Benfica haven't tasted European success since the 1960's and they'll be desperate to end that barren spell.

Current form

Both teams head into the final on the back of league defeats, although Benfica's was to be expected having rested the majority of their first team squad as the league title had already been wrapped up.

Sevilla's last win was the 2-0 victory over Valencia in the first leg of their semi final tie, however with one game left in the La Liga season they are guaranteed to enter next year's Europa League at at least the play-off round.

The Southern-Spain side will be playing in their 19th game in the Europa League this year, and they'll be desperate to make it worthwhile with a win tonight.

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Topics:
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Europa League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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