There’s a lot at stake for Spanish side Sevilla and English club Liverpool as they meet in Basel on Wednesday to claim a European victory this season.
The winner of Europa League is guaranteed a place in the group stage of next season’s Uefa Champions League.
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident the Reds can end a difficult season on a high note and claim their first European trophy in 11 years, Sevilla arrive in the Swiss city of Basel aiming for a hat-trick of victories in the competition.
Liverpool were struggling before Klopp’s arrival earlier in the campaign, but he insisted his faith in the players’ abilities was there even before he joined the club.
“When I came here there was a big amount of doubt about these players and now I am really happy they can show how strong they are,” Klopp said.
“It is a big opportunity to make the final step this season and achieve something.”
Sevilla is also looking to win the trophy for the fifth time in 11 seasons, having also successfully defended their 2006 title in 2007. No team has won three straight Uefa Cups or Europa Leagues, and a fifth for Sevilla — all within just 10 years — would also extend the record it holds.
A win for Sevilla — ahead of the Real vs Atletico Champions League final — would also ensure a third-straight season sweep of Uefa’s club competitions for Spain.
But Sevilla has not won outside of Spain all season -- a streak that began in Tbilisi, Georgia, back in August when Barcelona won a thrilling Uefa Super Cup 5-4 after extra time.