Shakhtar can cash in on Sevilla's dire away form this season when the teams clash on Thursday.
Shakhtar breezed past Braga in the quarter-final stage as they won 6-1 on aggregate to make it through to the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time since 2008/09, when they went on to lift the trophy. In contrast to their league form where they’ve been imperious at home but are yet to win on the road, Sevilla won at Bilbao in the quarters but lost at home and needed penalties to go through. Nonetheless, they remain on course for a third Europa League in a row as they look to emulate Real Madrid who achieved the same feat in the 1980’s.
Having lost five of their six group games in the Champions League, Shakhtar have thrived since returning to the knockout stages of the Europa League, winning five of six unbeaten matches whilst conceding just twice. Shakhtar have largely featured in the Champions League in recent times, but their home record in the Europa League since 2008/09 is W9-D3-L1. We have Sevilla ranked as the 13th best side in Europe, whilst Shakhtar are slightly behind them in 16th and Shakhtar’s record when hosting sides in Europe’s top-25 since 2008/09 is an excellent W4-D4-L1, with the majority of these games again in the Champions League where Juventus were the only side to beat them. Shakhtar led at the break in five of these matches and kept a clean sheet in four.
Whilst Sevilla are through to the semis, they’ve lost twice in the knockout stages at Molde and in that second leg against Bilbao. Sevilla’s away record in the Europa League since 2103/14 is W9-D6-L5 and if we focus solely on knockout games in this time it’s W5-D3-L3. When travelling to sides ranked between 10th and 25th Sevilla’s European record since 2007/08 is W5-D2-L6 as they conceded at least twice in seven of these 13 games. Villarreal and Bilbao are both similarly ranked sides to Shakhtar and Sevilla’s La Liga record when travelling to teams between 4th and 8th since the start of last season is W1-D2-L4 as they trailed at the break in each of these defeats and only managed to score more than once in one of these games.
Sevilla have a couple of injury concerns with Rami and Vitolo both out and the latter could be a significant absentee as their PPG on the road drops 42% when he hasn’t started since the start of last season. Whilst this game is being played in Lviv rather than Shakhtar’s traditional home in Donetsk, Lucescu’s side have played their home games in Lviv all season and have a strong record there. Shakhtar also have a good record when hosting Spanish teams with the exception of Barca and Real as they’ve only lost one of these five matches since 2000/01. Given Sevilla’s dire away form this season, and since home teams have a W8-D1-L1 record in Europa League semi-final first legs since 2009/10, we’re siding with the hosts here.
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