Juventus vs Sevilla – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 11th May 2023
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we take a look at the first leg of the semi-final tie between Juventus and Sevilla. Sevilla have won 5 in 6 in all competitions – are they good for a result here? Read on with our Juventus vs Sevilla prediction.
Juventus vs Sevilla Preview
Juventus come into this first leg of a European semi-final in mixed form. Max Allegri’s side had only picked up one point in four games in Serie A. However, recent victories against Lecce and, impressively, Atalanta at the weekend have seen them back on track. The win in Bergamo was much-needed, and they are now second in the league behind newly-crowned champions Napoli.
Of course, Juventus had 15 points deducted earlier in the season, then had them reinstated recently (though they may be removed by authorities again in a farcical situation). The favourable reversed decision has likely boosted their motivation in recent weeks. With five clubs breathing down their necks, they still have work to do to qualify for the Champions League (though winning this tournament is a second avenue).
In Europe, Juventus were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League in the group stage, with one win from six in a group that Benfica and PSG ultimately qualified from. Juventus made relatively light work of Nantes and Freiburg when they dropped to the Europa, then defeated Sporting 2-1 on aggregate. The Portuguese side had plenty of joy in Turin and were unlucky not to score, and Juventus will not want a repeat here.
Sevilla travel to Italy having experienced a difficult season. Now on their third coach, after Julen Lopetegui was sacked in October and Jorge Sampaoli in March, Jose Luis Mendilibar has made a massive difference. Sevilla were relegation candidates but currently sit in 11th position in La Liga with 44 points, so are safe. Under Mendilibar, they have played a more energetic and pressing style of football that has helped them get results.
Indeed, since Mendilibar was appointed, Sevilla have won five, drawn one and lost one in La Liga. This run has been what has alleviated their worries over relegation. Their victory at home against Espanyol in the last game displayed grit, scoring an 88th-minute winner after being 2-1 down. Under the new coach, they hope to return to form next season domestically.
In Europe, Sevilla were also eliminated from the Champions League, as Man City and Dortmund progressed from Group G. In 2023 Sevilla defeated PSV in the knockout play-off round 3-0 at home, though they had a scare with a 2-0 defeat in Eindhoven. A similar home victory and away defeat pattern resulted in progressing over Galatasaray, and then they played Man United. In the first leg at Old Trafford, United took a 2-0 lead and appeared to be cruising as they created chances. However, two late own goals got Sevilla the draw. Sevilla easily won the second leg 3-0, the first goal resulting from Sevilla’s press, the second a header, and the third En-Nesyri’s second of the game after a De Gea error.
Sevilla now come into this tie against Juventus. The Europa League is Sevilla’s competition, as they have won it a record six times (all coming since 2006). However, Juventus are dangerous opponents.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: De Sciglio
Might Not Play: Nianzou, Suso
Will Not Play: Jordan, Marcao
Juventus vs Sevilla Lineups (Predicted)
Juventus (3-5-1-1 / 3-5-2): Szczesny; Sandro, Bremer, Danilo; Kostic, Rabiot, Locatelli, Fagioli, Cuadrado; Di Maria; Vlahovic
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Bounou; Acuna, Gudelj, Bade, Navas; Gueye, Rakitic; Gil, Torres, Ocampos; En-Nesyri
Juventus vs Sevilla Analysis
Juventus Will Try To Be Defensively Sound But Create Chances When They Can
Juventus are a defence-first side. Even in Serie A, where they have better players and more resources than most clubs, the Turn side have only averaged 48.5 per cent possession. Their game tends to be more basic, being solid and resolute and not giving away many chances – but trying to create in the moments when they do attack through the talent at their disposal in attacking areas. The truth is that Juventus have been quite a defensive side for a long time, in the true Italian tradition.
Therefore, we envisage them playing careful, safety-first football and protecting their back three with three in midfield. Allegri’s favoured system will be in full effect – Sandro, Bremer, and Danilo will be tasked with congesting the space, with the two wider players filling the channels so that Sevilla cannot get as much joy down the flanks. Locatelli or Paredes will sit in front of the defence and shield it. At the same time, Fagioli and Rabiot will be mindful defensively but have some creative license going forward. Fagioli, in particular, is an exciting young player and will seek to join the attack and link with Di Maria. Pogba is also an option in midfield, though he’s had significant injury issues for a long time.
The dribbling and shooting ability of the maverick veteran Di Maria will be an asset in attack. So will Fagioli and Rabiot’s runs and link play, and Kostic and Cuadrado’s raids and crossing from wing-back. Indeed, the wing-backs play a vital role in this Juventus side. They must be diligent defensively and, in the final third, deliver the ball for the tall target man Vlahovic to attack. The tricky Chiesa, Kean, Milik and talented youngster Iling-Junior are attacking options from the bench to change things up.
When Juventus can attack, it will be in moments where they have spells of dominance or when they can be effective on the counter-attack as Sevilla push for a goal. If Juventus score first, it could open the entire match, as they’d then be able to play on the break – Sevilla would look to equalise the game (though they might not be too gung-ho as there’s a second leg to come).
Sevilla Will Have A Decent Amount Of The Ball And Are A Threat In Midfield and On The Counter
Sevilla tend to be comfortable both playing possession football and more directly on transitions in a stretched game. Indeed, the Andalusians have retained 54 per cent of possession this season in La Liga; and that is in a season where they have struggled for points. People may argue they’re not as competent in breaking down packed defences as we suggest. This may be why they have laboured to make their possession count for much of the season. However, they seem comfortable playing in tight spaces and at pace on the break when we have watched them.
Therefore, we expect Sevilla to perform quite similarly to how they did against Man United – at Old Trafford, Sevilla were somewhat lethargic for most of the game (before the incredible comeback). However, they demonstrated their ability to up the ante when they introduced more urgency at the end. The second leg was Sevilla more like their old selves, with pressing United right from the start of the game that led to De Gea and Maguire’s calamity. That set the tone for the match, and we expect them to do the same and press the Juventus defence and midfield in Turin.
This approach constitutes a risk because there is the chance that Juventus will bypass them and attain a numerical superiority in forward areas. However, Sevilla have both the energy and the technical ability to play pressing football and to play their way through Juventus in small spaces. Bade and Gudelj can be solid at the back and get tackles and blocks in on the Juventus forwards and headers away – a combination of Gueye, Rakitic or Fernando in midfield will ably support them. Rakitic will also get forward to help the attack. At the same time, Acuna and Navas will roam forward from full-back also to supplement the forwards.
En-Nesyri is a technically gifted and powerful striker leading the attack; he is a threat both in the air and on the ground with his finishing. His link-up play is also good, and he will look to create moves with the three technical players behind him – Gil, Torres and Ocampos. All three of these are tricky, direct dribblers, good passers and a box of tricks, and they have it in them to create chances from nothing for Sevilla. Suso and Nianzou are misses in the Sevilla team, but Lamela is an option off the bench. Dmitrovic is a possible starter in goal, but we think it will be Bounou.
This game is a challenging one to predict. On the one hand, Sevilla have been resurgent recently. Whenever they have reached this stage of the Europa League/UEFA Cup in the past, they have gone on to win the tournament. Their record against Juventus is modest, but they have won their last six games against Italian opposition. They will show up in Turin confident of getting at least a draw, and we expect them to be proactive and try to score a goal or two.
On the other hand, Juventus know they must try to take the lead to Seville for the second leg. Sevilla are often good at home, especially in these European ties. Juventus will want an advantage to protect. Hence, we expect them to play relatively cautiously but less so than in a one-off league game against a top Italian side. The Old Lady would be delighted with a 1-0 win, giving them something to try to hold in Spain.
We think Sevilla can score in this game, especially as they’ve had more rest. A draw feels likely between two well-matched clubs – a narrow win in either direction wouldn’t surprise us, however.
Juventus 1-1 Sevilla
Juventus vs Sevilla Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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