Manchester United v Sevilla: Visitors look to make history at Old Trafford

Manchester United v Sevilla: Visitors look to make history at Old Trafford

March 13, 2018 Off By Martin Devlin

Sevilla must overcome patchy form, and the burden of history, if they want to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 60 years.

The Andalusians have struggled of late and travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the Round of 16, facing an English side in brazen form.

Since the teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in late February, Vincenzo Montella’s side were destroyed at home 5-2 by Atlético Madrid, before recovering to put together back to back wins against Malaga and Athletic Club.  However, a painful defeat to Valencia on Saturday was not ideal preparation for this important tie, which also saw them fall 11 points from the top four in La Liga.

England has not been a happy hunting ground for the Andalusians, with only a draw against Liverpool earlier in this year’s competition to counteract three losses in previous trips to these shores.  Montella will be forced to use Sergio Escudero or Gabriel Mercado at right back to replace Jesus Navas, and continues to be without Sébastian Cordia as the defender makes his way back to full fitness.  Porto loanee Miguel Layun is ineligible.

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In contrast, their hosts have won three in a row including beating champions Chelsea and a defeat of rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday.  They bid to become the third Premier League to book a spot in the quarter-finals.

Paul Pogba returned to training having missed the Liverpool match, but Jose Mourinho’s side will be without Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Daley Blind.  Anthony Martial is a doubt with a thigh injury.  Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals in his last five matches.  United have enjoyed success in Champions League ties at home to Spanish opposition, losing only once in nine fixtures.