Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui is very excited about his club’s next game this weekend. “We are going to play against Manchester United in the next match,” he said of Sunday’s UEFA Europa League semifinal versus the Red Devils.
“They’re the biggest team in the world but we’re going to be prepared for them.” The winner takes on the victor of Inter Milan-Shakhtar Donetsk in the tournament final August 21.
Added goalkeeper Yassine Bounou:
“It’s something we’re really looking forward to, both as players and fans.”
“The Europa League is an important competition for the club and we go into the tie up for the cup, focused on the next game and nothing else.”
The Red Devils are a very tired side right now, says Juan Mata, and that’s understandable given how this is the third cup competition in which MUFC have reached the semifinals.
United were ranked the richest football club in the world by Forbes in 2018, but they now place third, behind Real Madrid and Barcelona on the 2020 lists. United are thought to have more fans than any other club on Earth, with the latest estimates at about 650 million.
United averages just under three million in shirt sales each year and their social media imprint is massive: 27 million on Instagram, 19 million on Twitter and 74 million on Facebook.
So it’s going to be a very high profile UEL semifinal, one that Sevilla reached by edging past Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday 1-0.
United also won their UEL semi by a 1-0 score, over FC Copenhagen, but they needed extra time to accomplish it.
“I think it was just one of those nights,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the win. “I think we deserved to win, that’s clear, but they made it very hard for us.”
UEFA Europa League Semifinal FYIs
Kickoff: Sunday Aug 16, 8pm, RheinEnergie Stadion, Cologne, Germany
TV, Stream: BT Sport, BT Sport Extra
Odds to win UEL United +190 Sevilla +280
Match Preview, Team News, Starting XI Predictions: coming soon
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.