After clinching the inaugural Conference League last season, Jose Mourinho’s Roma will aim to win their second European final in two seasons against six-time winners Sevilla in the Europa League final tomorrow at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.
Sevilla have endured an inconsistent season and their shortcomings in the Laliga this term has cost them a top-half finish in the standings. However, their league deficiencies couldn’t affect their stride in the Europa League which they have won a record six times.
Los Rojiblancos will aim to clinch the Europa League for the seventh time in their history, not only to earn a piece of silverware but to add a boost to their finances by qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Jose Luis Mendilibar is Sevilla’s third coach of the season following the departures of Julen Lopetegui and Jorge Sampaoli. Under the former two managers, the Andalucians were fighting to stave off the relegation zone and under Mendilibar, they have only suffered two defeats — their most recent coming against Real Madrid at home on the previous matchday.
Meanwhile, Roma approach this match on the back of a frustrating 2-1 defeat to Conference League finalists Fiorentina in the Serie A. They are winless in their last four games and have only secured two wins in their previous nine matchups across all competitions.
Even though the Giallorossi look set to qualify for the Europa League group stages for next season, they won’t secure a berth in the Champions League through league position as the top-four teams in the Serie A are confirmed. Jose Mourinho will hope to send his side to Europe’s biggest competition and they can only achieve it by winning the Europa League.
Roma’s road to final has been an ecstatic one and credit goes to their defence for grinding out matches were the opponents have looked ferocious in the attack. From defending their two-goal advantage in the 2nd-leg against Real Sociedad to guarding the goal in mass against Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-finals 2nd-leg when the German outfit peppered the goal to equalise on aggregate but couldn’t, Jose Mourinho has perfected the defence when playing in Europe.
Reports suggest that Jose Mourinho’s time at Roma may soon be over but that won’t affect the standards of the Portuguese mastermind. He will aim to leave a mark in Roma history by winning two-consecutive European accolades with limited resources.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
L D D W W
L D D D W
Yassine Bounou has been Sevilla’s European Cup goalkeeper and he is set to retain his starting place in the Europa League finals benching Marko Dmitrovic.
Joan Jordan and Suso have recovered from their respective injuries and are in contention for selection. However, Tanguy Nianzou and Marcao join the injury list.
Full-back Marcos Acuna is suspended from the final after receiving his marching orders against Juventus in the semi-finals.
As for Roma, Rick Karsdorp and Marash Kumbulla remain sidelined for the match. Leonardo Spinazzola might be just ready for the final. Paulo Dybala is also expected to make it.
Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nemanja Matic and Rui Patricio are set to return after resting out the Fiorentina game.
Sevilla (4-2-3-1): Bounou; Navas, Bade, Gudelj, Telles; Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, Torres, Gil; En-Nesyri
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Celik, Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Dybala; Abraham
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN