With four previous UEFA Cup/Europa League winners reaching the semi-finals in this season’s competition, there are two intriguing matches for BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen to focus on.
Here he gives his exclusive thoughts on both of the one-off matches:
Under 2.5 goals
Sevilla v Manchester United
Two former winners of this competition come face to face in the first of the semi-finals.
The teams have only been paired together once before in UEFA competitions and that was back in 2018 when Sevilla triumphed 2-1 on aggregate.
This time the result will be decided in a one-off tie and Sevilla will be desperate to get to the final and give themselves a chance of taking their record haul of wins in this competition to six.
This is definitely a clash of two sides who are extremely difficult to beat. Sevilla are unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions and United have lost just once in their last 24.
Both teams squeaked through their quarter-final ties with 1-0 wins and whilst neither team looked to be playing at their best, results are the only thing that count at this stage of the competition.
Sevilla have now kept a clean sheet in their last three games and I don’t see many goals in this one. That said, I think United’s superior firepower might just be the difference between the sides and I’m going for a 1-0 win for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men.
Inter Milan to win
Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk
The second semi-final sees two former UEFA Cup winners go head to head as they both bid to win the UEFA Europa League for the first time.
This side of the draw sees two teams who dropped down from the Champions League face each other and both clubs should be full of confidence with Inter having lost just one of their last 16 matches in all competitions and Shakhtar only losing one of their last 15.
Inter have a strong contingent of ex-Manchester United players in their side and in my opinion, it’s one of those who is most likely to be the match-winner. Romelu Lukaku is having a sensational season for Milan, scoring 31 goals in all competitions so far. It’s also worth noting that he has scored in each of his last nine UEFA Europa League appearances which is a record in this competition, scoring 12 goals along the way.
At this stage of any major competition, it is always difficult to offer too confident a prediction but I fancy Antonio Conte’s men to have too much for the Ukrainian champions on Monday night and I’m going for a 2-1 win to Inter, inside 90 minutes.