Its Liverpool vs Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final with the match set for May 18th in Switzerland. Cup final fever is starting to sink in with thousands of fans already descending on St Jakob Park in Basel, with many busy sharing their preferred lineups for both sides. Team selection for the 2016 Europa League final will be the hardest of jobs for the respective managers and those set to miss out sure to be devastated.
Liverpool vs Sevilla Team News
For Liverpool, both Divock Origi and captain Jordan Henderson are in a race to be fit for the showpiece final, while long-term absentee Danny Ings has now been ruled out. Both players have travelled with the rest of the squad to Switzerland, with captain Henderson appearing as a second half substitute in the Premier League final day match against West Brom on Sunday. It was the England international’s first run-out since his injury against Borussia Dortmund in April. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Henderson was introduced in order to prove his fitness ahead of the final.
“It was the only chance to have a chance for Wednesday. I said from the beginning that I don’t want to force the situation by saying ‘come on Hendo, try’,” Klopp explained, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s his knee. He didn’t feel anything in the last few sessions and it’s clear we’d try today for half-an-hour or so.”
“Everybody could see there are no issues with the injury, and that’s good. I haven’t made a decision about Wednesday yet but it’s good to have him back.”
Henderson himself has said that he doesn’t expect to start the final but has said he is ready if his manager needs him.
“I don’t expect to start,” Henderson told the BBC.
“I know I’ve been out a long time and I’ve only played 25-30 minutes.
“When I’ve been injured the team has done very well and played in some big games to get to the final.
“I’m ready to play as long or as little as the manager wants me to.”
Klopp also revealed that Origi, who missed the West Brom game, trained on Monday morning, with the 21-year-old flying out with the rest of the squad on Tuesday.
“The players who weren’t here trained this morning. (First-team coach) Pep Lijnders was not with us in the hotel last night as he made a session with all the other boys,” Klopp continued.
“Also there was (Joao Carlos) Teixeira, who had a back problem, and Divock Origi, who has trained with the team normally.”
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 17, 2016
Meanwhile, Sevilla attacker Yevhen Konoplyanka, who was said to have been a doubt for the final after Sevilla revealed on their website last week that he had finished training on Thursday in considerable pain, has been declared fit for the final. The 26-year-old is one of the Sevilla’s main attacking outlets and was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool in 2014 from Ukrainian side FC Dnipro before his move to Spain, and was passed fit to start Saturday’s La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao.
Bilbao were losing finalists in the 2012 Europa League final, going down 3-0 to fellow La Liga side Atletico Madrid, but beat the 2016 finalists, Sevilla, 3-1.
Sevilla boss Unai Emery rested a number of key players for the upcoming game against Liverpool and spoke of his side’s achievement in reaching a third consecutive final after the match, which secured seventh spot in La Liga for Sevilla despite no away victories all season.
“It’s been a tough road to the finals and it’s taken injuries and great effort,” Emery said.
“Now our enthusiasm and our motivation is in this beautiful week. Rarely in the future will we happen to play two finals of this kind.
“The team is very excited, motivated and with a tremendous mindset.”
Liverpool vs Sevilla Betting Odds
Liverpool are currently 7/5 to win the final outright with 888 Sport, which represents some of the best odds on the market right now. For the match to end in a draw and head to penalties, 888 Sport are offering odds of 23/10. Spanish side Sevilla are at 43/20 to win their third Europa League final in a row.
Click here to head over to 888 Sport and check out their odds on the Europa League final and much more.
Liverpool vs Sevilla Predictions
A tough match to predict, with Sevilla having won consecutive finals over the last two years and considering Liverpool’s penchant for winning dramatic finals. When in charge of Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp took the unfavoured Germans to the 2013 Champions League final and won back to back league titles despite the presence of Bayern Munich. He also ousted his old side as Liverpool boss in a dramatic semi-final, with Dortmund arguably the favourites for the Europa League crown this year.
Penalties for the 2016 Europa League final would actually seem a safe bet, with Liverpool coming out on top in typically stunning style.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Sevilla (Liverpool win on penalties)