Sevilla vs Man Utd – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 20th April 2023
Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we take a look at the second leg of the quarter-final tie between Sevilla vs Man Utd. United paid the price for a passive second half and Sevilla duly (luckily) profited. Can lightning strike twice? Read on with our Sevilla vs Man Utd prediction.
Sevilla (EL and CL)
Sevilla vs Man Utd Match Preview
The first leg encounter between these two sides appeared to be over going into the final 10 minutes. United quickly found themselves 2-0 up within 21 minutes as Marcel Sabitzer converted twice within the space of seven first-half minutes to give the home side a seemingly unassailable lead. With Sevilla creating little of consequence, the most likely outcome was for Manchester United to close the game out and take with them a healthy two-goal advantage to Seville.
Unfortunately for Erik ten Hag’s men, things didn’t exactly pan out that way. We can debate the element of fortune required for both of Sevilla’s goals, but the fact is they now head back to Spain with a slight advantage in this tie, courtesy of two own goals. The first arose after some poor defending from Malacia allowed the ball to bounce in the area and was only able to divert Jesus Navas’ attempted cross beyond David de Gea. The second – a freak deflection off Harry Maguire’s head from En-Nesyri’s header.
Sevilla continued their recent resurgence under new coach Mendilibar with a 2-0 victory over Valencia. As expected under the new coach who has a well-earned reputation as a relegation specialist, Sevilla’s opponents that day had 60% possession… but did very little with it. Having benefited from a little fortune which defender Loic Bade was instinctively able to take advantage of with a close-range finish, Sevilla added a second through Suso to put the game beyond Valencia and put them eight points clear of relegation.
Manchester United come into this match with a deluge of injury concerns, to add to which influential playmaker Bruno Fernandes is also suspended. Despite this, they were able to overcome relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest 2-0 although they had to survive a few scares in order to do so. Overall, they were worthy winners but they displayed the same defensive vulnerabilities that have plagued them all season. Combined with their current injury crisis, this ensures that their trip to Seville could be a difficult one.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Gueye, Tecatito
Might Not Play: McTominay, Rashford, Sabitzer
Will Not Play: Fernandes, Garnacho, Heaton, Martinez, Rashford, Shaw, Van de Beek, Varane
Sevilla vs Man Utd Lineups (Predicted)
Sevilla: (4-2-3-1): Bono; Acuna, Marcao, Nianzou, Montiel; Fernando, Gudelj; Torres, Rakitic, Ocampos; En-Nesyri
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Eriksen; Sancho, Sabitzer, Antony; Weghorst
Sevilla vs Man Utd Analysis
Sevilla Could Exploit United
It’s true that Sevilla didn’t create much of a threat, and they were somewhat fortunate to finish their first-leg encounter at Old Trafford with two goals. The fact remains that it happened, and effectively Manchester United have to start from scratch. Where this could play into Sevilla’s hands is that they’ve proven recently under famed defensive coach Mendilibar that they can carry an attacking threat while at the same time ceding possession and territory in order to remain solid at the back.
The issue here would ordinarily be that Manchester United could possess too much creative quality for Sevilla to risk such an approach, as in the first leg where they found themselves two goals down. However, with United now in the midst of an injury crisis and without Bruno Fernandes, this may prove to be a viable approach. We’re not suggesting that Bruno Fernandes’ presence would mean that United would automatically create clear chances, but he is an influential player and it’s no coincidence that he was largely responsible for the breakthrough at Old Trafford.
Though United were possibly at fault for the flow of the game thereafter as they failed to press on and find further goals, Sevilla demonstrated their ability to allow Manchester United possession in certain areas before rapidly closing them down and thus suffocating their attacking threat in the final third. It was no accident that United failed to add additional goals, but Sevilla must be more switched on from the start of the game and attempt to impose their own attacking game on a depleted United defence.
We expect that they will start their chief goal threat, Morocco’s En-Nesyri from the start in a brave move to give themselves the best possible chance here. If they start slowly again, they may not benefit from the kind of good fortune that got them back into the tie.
If United Can Remain Disciplined, They’ll Likely Prevail
Sevilla aren’t the greatest attacking side, and now with their new coach, they don’t harbour any such pretensions. Previous coach Sampaoli had them playing an expansive brand of football that was ill-suited to the talents at their disposal – particularly defensively following the departures of both Jules Kounde to Barcelona and Diego Carlos to Aston Villa. Sevilla have been too vulnerable all season in transition, and their latest coaching appointment is designed to rectify this issue.
What does this mean for United’s chances? Well, as poor as Man Utd’s second-half display was, they could replay those final 10 minutes 10 times and not concede twice again. We’ll give Sevilla credit for pushing forward in search of something to take back to Spain, but it’s unlikely that fortune will strike twice again. On the weekend, though Sevilla did win 2-0, they again benefitted from a piece of good fortune to take the lead.
What Man United can’t do, and indeed shouldn’t do, is go for broke from the start. They start level, and going for broke could play right into Sevilla’s hands as United are depleted in defence. We don’t mean to disparage those incoming central defenders, Maguire and Lindelof, but Nottingham Forest were very unlucky early on as they ruthlessly targeted Harry Maguire’s lack of mobility to great effect. If the bulky ball-playing defender is to start, United need to adjust accordingly and ensure that there is adequate cover at all times.
If, however, United are able to defend with discipline and their attacking unit perform their defensive duties (which is why we believe that Wout Weghorst will be given the nod), it’s likely (famous last words) that Sevilla won’t be able to hurt them too much in open play. They’re set up to be solid and take advantage of set pieces. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach, but a resolute defensive team performance would take away the vast majority of Sevilla’s attacking threat.
We’re taking into account Manchester United’s injury and suspension crisis – particularly in defence, and also the fact that their backup players don’t always execute as well as their first XI. In that regard, it’s difficult to see Man Utd cutting out the mistakes entirely and we expect that at some point Sevilla will have the ball in the back of the net.
We back United to perhaps have the better of the play overall, but we think the home side can take the tie into extra time. United carry the greater overall attacking threat, and we expect them to progress but it will probably be hard work for Ten Hag’s men.
Sevilla 1-2 Man Utd AET
Sevilla vs Man Utd Betting Tip – Draw (90 Minutes) Odds:
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