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Atlético meet Valencia, Sporting play Athletic

Published: Thursday 5 April 2012, 23.28CET
Club Atlético de Madrid will tackle Valencia CF, a victim during their triumphant 2009/10 campaign, in the semi-finals, while Sporting Clube de Portugal face Athletic Club.
Atlético meet Valencia, Sporting play Athletic
Sporting celebrate with coach Ricardo Sá Pinto (2nd R) at full time ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Thursday 5 April 2012, 23.28CET

Atlético meet Valencia, Sporting play Athletic

Club Atlético de Madrid will tackle Valencia CF, a victim during their triumphant 2009/10 campaign, in the semi-finals, while Sporting Clube de Portugal face Athletic Club.

The UEFA Europa League semi-finals will consist of an all-Spanish affair and an Iberian derby following the conclusion of the last-eight ties on Thursday.

Having defeated Valencia CF on away goals in the quarter-finals en route to lifting the trophy in 2010, Club Atlético de Madrid will meet their Liga counterparts in European competition for the second time later this month. Atlético completed a 4-2 aggregate victory against Hannover 96 to get this far, while Unai Emery's team comprehensively overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit to AZ Alkmaar with a 4-0 win in the return.

The Rojiblancos host Valencia – who they have not scored against in two top-flight fixtures this term, losing 1-0 away and drawing 0-0 at home – on 19 April, with the second leg taking place a week later. On the same nights, not so far away, the Lions of Portugal meet the Lions of Spain in the other semi-final tie.

Sporting Clube de Portugal, enjoying their best continental campaign since losing to PFC CSKA Moskva in the 2005 UEFA Cup final at their Estádio José Alvalade home, will face Athletic Club. At home in the first leg, also on 19 April, Sporting accounted for FC Metalist Kharkiv, with their opponents eliminating FC Schalke 04 6-4 on aggregate.

The Portuguese side won on the teams' only previous competitive meeting, in 1985, and a repeat will send them through to the final in Bucharest on 9 May.

Semi-finals (19 April & 26 April)
Atlético v Valencia
Sporting v Athletic

Head-to-head records
Atlético v Valencia
2009/10 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals
Valencia 2-2 Atlético
Atlético 0-0 Valencia (agg: 2-2, Atlético win on away goals)
Atlético beat Fulham FC in the final

Sporting v Athletic
1985/86 UEFA Cup third round
Athletic 2-1 Sporting
Sporting 3-0 Athletic (agg: 4-2)
Sporting lost to 1. FC Köln in the quarter-finals

Last updated: 06/04/12 20.25CET

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