Sevilla welcome West Ham United to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for the first leg of their round of 16 ties. The Hammers will be making their first appearance in the knockouts of a European competition since 1981. Meanwhile, they are sat sixth in the Premier League table, Sevilla and second in the La Liga. David Moyes faces his toughest test yet in the competition, as he prepares his team for one of their most prestigious fixtures of this season.
Having won only one of their last five fixtures, the wheels appear to have come off for the Hammers, for the Champions League spot in the league. Also, their premature exit from the FA Cup has put some breaks to their momentum. Their form in the Europa League this season though has been impressive. West Ham topped a group involving Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, and Rapid Vienna to reach the RO16 stage, collecting 13 points from their six games.
The Spanish side on the other hand is the Kings of this competition, having won six times since 2005. Even though they’re sat second in the La Liga, they trail Real Madrid by eight points. Also, Sevilla has won just three out of their last 10 games in all competitions. Also, Friday’s stale draw against Alaves was their fourth draw in the last six games. However, a clean sheet has ensured that they keep the best defensive record in Spain this season.
Sevilla has also not lost a game at Estadio Ramon Sanchez since losing to Lille in the Champions League in November. Given how much they love this tournament, we can simply consider them as one of the favorites to lift this trophy.
Date, kick-off time
The Europa League round-of-16 meeting will kick off at 11:15 IST (5.45 pm GMT) on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Sevilla has injury concerns in their camp as Diego Carlos, Fernando, Papu Gomez are all suffering from knocks of late. Anthony Martial has been struggling with injury concerns and Youssef En-Nesyri has been struggling to score upfront. This may force Lopetegui to recall Rafa Mir in the playing XI to bolster the Sevilla attack. Also, Nemanja Gudelj may be on standby and Thomas Delaney is suspended after his dismissal against Dinamo Zagreb.
Sevilla’s possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Corona, Mir, Ocampos
West Ham United
Jarrod Bowen is the major doubt for West Ham after coming off injured against Liverpool. Declan Rice could make a come back into the side following his recovery from illness. Alphonse Areola meanwhile remains the favorite to start between the sticks. Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson are likely to retain their places in the playing XI.
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Fredericks, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Vlasic, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio
These two teams have never played against each other previously, this makes this clash an exciting one. Even though both the teams are struggling to fire goals upfront, fans certainly would not expect a dead rubber. West Ham will definitely look to secure at least a draw ahead of the return leg at the London Stadium. Sevilla on the other hand will look to kill the tie off at their own backyard and secure a spot in the final eight. The game will be interesting and intriguing to keep the fans as well as neutrals excited throughout the tie.
Sevilla 2 – West Ham 1
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