Next Thursday, April 3, 2014 (12:05 PM Pacific), FC Porto will take on Sevilla at the Estádio do Dragão for the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals.
The home side left Napoli behind on the last round of the competition after winning at Portugal
and grabbing an excellent 2-2 at the mythical San Paolo Stadium. The Portuguese team’s new
boss, Luís Castro, took the helm of the team on a very complicated period due to the large
amount of matches the Dragons still need to play. After defeating SL Benfica in the middle of the
last week for the first leg of the Portuguese Cup, FC Porto had a major slip up last Sunday at
Madeira Island as they were defeated by CD Nacional 2-1.
The team looks different after the arrival of Luís Castro, although there are some problems that
seem to have endured from the team’s routines with the previous manager Paulo Fonseca. FC
Porto’s defence line continues with inconsistent performances, especially because the team
seems to have failed to find a solid replacement for Nicolas Otamendi after his departure last
For the next Thursday’s match, Luis Castro will not be able to count on the Brazilian goalkeeper
and team’s captain Helton, who will miss the rest of the season due to injury and there are still
some doubts concerning the physical condition of the French centre back Eliaquim Mangala and
of the Brazilian centre back Maicon.
As for Sevilla, the team from Andalusia was struck by the sour taste of defeat at Los Balaídos
last Saturday after an excellent six win streak at La Liga. A late goal from Nolito was enough to
put an end to Sevilla’s excellent moment and put some pressure into the team for next
Thursday’s UEFA Europa League match against FC Porto.
The Spanish side head coach Unai Emery will not be able to count on several important players
for the clash against the Portuguese team. The Russian wonderkid Denis Cheryshev, the
Argentinean midfielder Sebastián Cristóforo and the Portuguese centre back Daniel Carriço are
all sidelined due to injury, while Federico Fazio and Stephane Mbia will also miss the match due
FC Porto and Sevilla met twice in 2011 also for the UEFA Europa League, the year when the
Portuguese side claimed the trophy spearheaded by the former Spurs’ and Chelsea’s manager
André VillasBoas. The Andalusia side won at Estádio do Dragão with a goal from the erratic
Brazilian forward Luis Fabiano but they were surprised at home by a mighty FC Porto that won
2-1 with goals from Rolando and Guarín.
Next Thursday’s match will certainly be a very tight clash between an FC Porto still looking to find
themselves this season and a Sevilla side that was on a clear crescendo until last Saturday’s La
Liga match. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for FC Porto.
TV Info: 12:05 PM Pacific, ESPN Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go
FC Porto (433) Fabiano Danilo Mangala Reyes Alex Sandro Fernando Defour Josué
Varela Quaresma Jackson
Sevilla (442) Beto Coke N. Pareja Fazio F.Navarro Rakitic Iborra Vitolo Reyes