Europa League: Sevilla eye 6th win over Inter Milan in final | Dailytrust

Europa League: Sevilla eye 6th win over Inter Milan in final

Antonio Conte meets Julian Lopetegui in Europa final in Cologne. Photo credit: Daily Times

Sevilla will be hoping to clinch its sixth Europa League title against Inter Milan in a prospective tight showdown in Cologne on Friday.

The Spanish side are so far the most successful club in the history of the competition, winning the trophy for a record five times, thanks to the three successive campaigns in 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.

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Sevilla have come through a bumpy journey to the finals after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the quarter-finals and Manchester United in the semi-finals.

On their part, Inter Milan have won all their last five UEFA Europa League encounters this season and could match their 2009/2010 record of winning six UEFA European matches in a row.

However, this is the first time ever the Spanish side Sevilla and the Italian side, Inter Milan are meeting in a European competition.

It is also the sixth time in 11 years in the competition’s history that the two sides meeting in the final of the league are meeting for the first time, the last was Sevilla against Liverpool.

Antonio Conte will head into the Europa League final aiming to win a major trophy in his first season in charge of Inter Milan and extend the barren spell of his Sevilla rival Julen Lopetegui when they clash tonight in Cologne.

The difference in fortunes could not be starker as Conte won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus followed by the 2016-17 Premier League title with Chelsea, while Lopetegui has been unable to claim a single honour at senior level as a coach.

 

What the managers are saying…

Sevilla’s coach Julian Lopetegui said: “This is a completely new and different team, with different players and a different manager.

“It helps that the club have reached this stage before, but I don’t think it’s an advantage for anybody.

“Two totally different teams are playing, and we are up against a great team.

“Inter are a team equipped to compete in the Champions League, given the calibre of players they have, which is extraordinary, and their very experienced manager who has coached many top teams.

“What I expect is a top-quality match which will demand the best of us.

“We will try to prepare well for it and have the answers for such a daunting challenge.”

On his part, Antonio Conte said: “It’s been a positive season.

“We’ve done important things and have made major improvements.

“We’ve managed to get to the Europa League final, despite the small disappointment of not getting through the Champions League group stage.

“It has allowed us to have a much more successful journey in the Europa League than we would have had in the Champions League.”

On the nature of the game against Sevilla, the Italian manager said: “It will be a tough game…we’re playing the team with the most experience and who have won the most titles over the past decade of this competition.

“We have to be attentive but also play our own game with great enthusiasm and courage as we have done so far.

“It’s a final and only the best teams get to the final.

“It’s always important to be able to say to the lads, at the end of the game, that we don’t have any regrets.”