Turin will host the first leg of this exciting UEFA Europa League semifinal, as Juventus welcome Sevilla to northern Italy. Massimiliano Allegri’s side have struggled for form as of late, though they appear to have turned a corner with wins over Lecce and Atalanta.
I Bianconeri have spent much of this season lingering in mid-table obscurity, but they have catapulted back up the standings after having their points deduction reversed. They now sit second in Serie A, though Lazio and both Milan clubs are in close pursuit.
As for Sevilla, their fine run of form was dealt a harsh blow by Girona – but José Luis Mendilibar’s side were quick to return to winning ways, picking up three points against Espanyol last time out in a dramatic five-goal thriller.
On the whole though, it’s been a disappointing season for the Spanish side. A shaky start to their LaLiga campaign saw them pick up just twelve points from their opening ten games – and while they appear to have found form again now, it could well be too late. With five games left to play, they sit eight points behind the Europa League spots – and they’re 17 points behind Real Sociedad who currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.
You can’t help but feel that winning the Europa League is the only chance Sevilla have of playing across Europe next season. It’ll be interesting to see how José Luis Mendilibar’s side react to that pressure – as Juventus need just four points from their final four games to secure European football.
As for how these two sides made it to the final four of this year’s competition, Sevilla dropped down from the UEFA Champions League before seeing off PSV Eindhoven in the playoffs. They then defeated Fenerbahce to progress to the quarterfinals, where Manchester United awaited. At Old Trafford, the hosts scored two late own goals to level the tie ahead of a trip to Spain – and it was Mendilibar’s side that took full advantage to cruise through to the semifinals.
Juventus also dropped down from the Champions League – and they found a way past Nantes in the playoffs to secure a spot in the final sixteen. There, they made light work of SC Freiburg to earn a tie against Sporting CP. The Portuguese outfit put up a good fight, but bowed out in the quarterfinals.
Juventus will be bolstered by the return of Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa – as both players have made cameo appearances in recent games after returning from long-term spells on the sidelines. Mattia De Sciglio and Gleison Bremer are ruled out of this fixture though, with De Sciglio having ruptured his cruciate ligament.
Lucas Ocampos, Fernando and Erik Lamela are all included in José Luis Mendilibar’s travelling squad – despite injury concerns that could mean the trio don’t feature in tonight’s game. With just twenty players making the trip to Turin, there’s the feeling that the Sevilla boss may not actually have all too much choice when it comes to selecting his starting lineup.
Suso is ruled out for the Spanish side, after picking up a hamstring injury in the club’s last game against Espanyol. The winger will join Tanguy Nianzou, Marcao and Joan Jordan in the treatment room. Pape Gueye and Jesus Corona also miss out, as they aren’t registered to play in the Europa League.
Juventus: Szczesny; A. Sandro, Rugani, Danilo; Kostic, Rabiot, Locatelli, Fagioli, Cuadrado; Di Maria, Vlahovic
Sevilla: Bono; Acuna, Montiel, Bade, Navas; Gil, Gudelj, Rakitic; Mir; Torres; En-Nesyri
Where can I watch?
Kickoff in Turin is at 8pm UK time on Thursday, 11 May 2023. The game will be shown live on BT Sport 2, with coverage starting at 7:45pm. If you don’t have BT Sport, fear not – we’ll have a detailed match report published within minutes of the final whistle.