How Liverpool can overcome Sevilla in the final of the Europa League

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With the Europa League final in Basel coming up this Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp will be thinking heavily on how to overcome Sevilla to wipe out their two-year streak of winning the competition.

By knocking out Villarreal in the semi-finals, Liverpool took a huge step to finding themselves big favourites to win the competition. 

As a result of winning the competition last year, Sevilla were granted a place in the Champions League this season, however, failed to qualify for the knockout stages and finished third to give them a place again in the Europa League.


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The two sides have never met in any competition. 

Style of Play

Liverpool's style of play under Jurgen Klopp has seen them play fast, attacking football, just like they did under Brendan Rodgers' in the 2013/14 season, in which they simply blew teams away.

Results such as the 3-0 victory over Villarreal and the 4-0 win over rivals Everton show how lethal Klopp's side can be in front of goal. The Reds proved just how good they can be at times as they limited the time on the ball for both sides.

The key for this has been controlling the game in the opposition's half, which they did so well against Villarreal in the semi-final of the Europa League, as they controlled 60% of the possession. 

Sevilla's style of play is to play in their own half, which can sometimes suit the Reds as it will allow Liverpool to put high pressure on the Spanish side's back four, but also keep possession without their high pressing.

A vital aspect Sevilla will be looking to get past Simon Mignolet will be from set pieces. Liverpool have lacked a defence unit to clear corners and free kicks throughout this season, and the La Liga side will be aware of that. Not only are Sevilla strong from set pieces, they also have a good percentage of winning most aerial duels, which could cause the Reds even more of a headache.

The Danger Men

Liverpool have struggled with a consistent striker this season due to injuries. Daniel Sturridge came back from injury recently and Divock Origi suffered an injury in the 4-0 demolishing of Everton. Despite a promising start when he arrived in the summer, Christian Benteke has seemed a little off the pace as Jurgen Klopp's style of play simply does not suit the Belgian forward.

With Sevilla's style of play, it looks like the tie could be attack vs defence, which means Daniel Sturridge could be the man to start up front.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will be looking to take advantage of Sevilla's poor ability to stop opponents from creating chances to help Sturridge get on the score sheet. 

Alongside Liverpool, Sevilla have also had difficulty with injuries, however, that has not stopped the former Paris Saint-Germain man, Kevin Gameiro, knocking in the goals for the Spanish side.

Gameiro has had an excellent season in the Europa League, scoring seven in six appearances. His supreme finishing and his ability to find key passes will be a threat for the Reds.

League and Cup Form

Both Liverpool and Sevilla have been well known for letting their leads slip in key games. An astonishing fact that Liverpool fans will really not want to see is the fact Liverpool have dropped 19 points from winning positions this season.

Had Liverpool won all those games, they could have been just three points off newly crowned Premier League champions, Leicester City. With Liverpool getting to the final of the Capital One Cup and failing to beat Manchester City, the Reds will be eager to get their hands on silverware this season. 

Liverpool fans will love this next fact. Sevilla have been abysmal away from home this season, winning just four games in all competitions, including a big zero in La Liga.

Lots of Liverpool fans will be thinking on neutral turf, Liverpool can be considered big favourites due to Sevilla's poor form away from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Sevilla also have their eyes on a potential cup double, as not only do they contest for the Europa League, four days later, they face Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final.


In the Europa League this season, Sevilla have stuck with one formation, the 4-2-3-1. With Kevin Gameiro leading the line for the Spanish team, the three attacking midfielders have been supplying the French man with the chances to score goals. Sevilla could technically exploit Liverpool's poor ability to defend against attacks down the wings, which might make Sevilla playing with more width in their style of play.

The key man for assists this season has been Vitolo. Providing three assists and chipping in with one goal himself, he has been the man to provide for his club. However, Sevilla have not looked that impressive in Europe this season.

Liverpool has been between three different formations past the group stages. The first leg against Villarreal saw a negative 4-3-3 false nine formation, which Jurgen Klopp was heavily criticised for. The false nine formation has been excellent at points this season, including a 4-1 away victory against Manchester City. However, it did not provide any attacking creativity from the Reds.

The second leg formation was a simple 4-4-1-1 with Daniel Sturridge leading the line and Roberto Firmino in behind. It was used to perfection as Liverpool were able to dominate the possession, put high pressure on Villarreal's back line and create chances. It also enabled the Reds to create chances using through balls for Daniel Sturridge to run onto, but at the same time, be able to attack down the wings with the pace of both full backs.

Jurgen Klopp will have a good, hard think about what formation to use in Basel on Wednesday, as he will hope to see his side lift their first trophy under his reign.

With a place up for grabs for next season's Champions League and both sides outside of their designated league positions, there is a lot at stake for either side.

Who will be crowned Europa League champions this week? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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