Sevilla poised to test Leicester's mettle

Leicester City face the toughest test yet of their debut UEFA Champions League campaign when they visit Sevilla for the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

Vicente Iborra of Sevilla reacts at the end of their UEFA Champions League group stage match against Lyon
Vicente Iborra of Sevilla reacts at the end of their UEFA Champions League group stage match against Lyon ©AFP/Getty Images

Leicester City FC face the toughest test yet of their debut UEFA Champions League campaign when they visit Sevilla FC for the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

• Claudio Ranieri's tournament newcomers reached this stage as Group G winners but now meet a Sevilla side with recent success against English opposition, having defeated Liverpool FC in last season's UEFA Europa League final. Sevilla secured their third last-16 participation in the last decade as Group H runners-up behind Juventus.

Match background

Sevilla
• The club now coached by Jorge Sampaoli are looking to make the last eight of Europe's elite club competition for the first time since their inaugural continental campaign in 1957/58. That run ended with a heavy quarter-final loss to eventual winners Real Madrid CF (0-8 a, 2-2 h).

• Sevilla lost on the two previous occasions they competed in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League – against Fenerbahçe SK in 2008 (5-5 agg, 2-3 pens) and PFC CSKA Moskva in 2010 (2-3 agg).

• They won five of seven European home fixtures played in 2016, including autumn victories over Group H rivals Olympique Lyonnais (1-0) and GNK Dinamo Zagreb (4-0). One of their two defeats came against Juventus (1-3) on matchday five.

• Sevilla suffered their first home loss to English visitors when succumbing 3-1 to Manchester City FC in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Their only previous two-legged knockout tie against Premier League opposition brought a 4-3 aggregate success (2-1 h, 2-2 a) over Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final of last term's UEFA Europa League in Basel and also overcame Middlesbrough FC 4-0 in the 2006 UEFA Cup decider.

Leicester
• This is the first time that Leicester have survived in a European campaign beyond Christmas.

• Leicester collected clean sheets in their first two away games in the group stage – winning 3-0 at Club Brugge KV and drawing 0-0 at FC København – but then crashed 5-0 at FC Porto with qualification already assured.

• The English titleholders have won only one of their four previous two-legged European ties – 7-2 agg v Glenavon FC in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup preliminary round.

• Two of the Foxes' three previous European campaigns ended against Spanish opposition. Club Atlético de Madrid eliminated them in both the 1961/62 European Cup Winners' Cup first round (1-1 h, 0-2 a) and the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round (1-2 a, 0-2 h).

Coach and player links
• Ranieri's coaching CV includes spells at Valencia CF (1997–98 and 2004–05) and Atlético (1999–2000). He lost his two preceding meetings with Sevilla as a coach – 2-1 defeats with Atlético (away) in January 2000 and Valencia (home) in October 2004.

• Ranieri's last European tie against Spanish opponents came as coach of Valencia when they beat Liga rivals RCD Espanyol 3-0 on aggregate in the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup (1-0 a, 2-0 h).

• As Napoli boss, Ranieri got the better of Valencia in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round (5-1 a, 1-0 h). With ACF Fiorentina, he lost a 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against FC Barcelona (1-1 a, 0-2 h).

• Steven N'Zonzi took on Leicester three times with Stoke City FC (W2 L1).

• Samir Nasri won his two matches against Leicester with Manchester City FC – both away from home.

• Leonardo Ulloa came off the bench to play Sevilla twice with UD Almería in the 2010/11 Spanish top flight – a 3-1 away victory in December 2010 and a 1-0 home reverse the following May.

• Wilfred Ndidi scored home and away against Athletic Club for KRC Genk in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Stevan Jovetić scored past Kasper Schmeichel in Montenegro's 2-1 defeat away to Denmark in a June 2015 friendly. With ACF Fiorentina he scored twice against Liverpool in a 2-0 UEFA Champions League group stage victory in 2009/10.

• Jovetić did not face Leicester during his two seasons in England with Manchester City (2013–15, 30 league appearances, eight goals).

• Christian Fuchs scored on his last trip to Spain for a UEFA Champions League fixture – in FC Schalke 04's 4-3 triumph at Real Madrid in the 2014/15 round of 16, albeit Schalke still lost 5-4 on aggregate.

• Daniel Carriço made three Premier League appearances for Reading FC in 2012/13.

• Have played together:
Steven N'Zonzi & Robert Huth (Stoke City, 2012–14)

• International team-mates:
Michael Krohn-Dehli & Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)

Match facts

Sevilla
• Vicente Iborra and Nicolás Pareja are a booking away from a suspension, while Gabriel Mercado serves a one-match ban.

• Sevilla have won eight and drawn two of their 12 fixtures since matchday six. On 15 January, the Andalusian outfit defeated Real Madrid 2-1 at home, a result that ended the European champions' Spanish record 40-game unbeaten run.

• Jovetić has scored three goals in six outings since his January arrival from FC Internazionale Milano and got two assists in Saturday's 2-0 defeat of Eibar.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Stevan Jovetić, Clément Lenglet, David Soria
Out: Hiroshi Kiyotake, Timothée Kolodziejczak, Salvatore Sirigu

Leicester
• Huth and Islam Slimani will incur a suspension with their next booking.

• Leicester have failed to score in their last six Premier League fixtures and also drew a blank in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup loss at Millwall FC.

• The English champions have won only two of their 11 league games since matchday six.

• Ranieri's team have collected just one point in six top-flight games this year. Their only victories in 2017 have come in the FA Cup, against Everton FC (2-1) and Derby County FC (3-1).

• Slimani, Riyad Mahrez (both Algeria) and Molla Wagué (Mali) failed to progress beyond the group stage with their respective countries at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

• Daniel Amartey played every minute of Ghana's run to the semi-finals of the tournament in Gabon.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Yohan Benalouane, Wilfred Ndidi, Molla Wagué
Out: Luis Hernández, Bartosz Kapustka, Jeffrey Schlupp, Marcin Wasilewski