Sevilla seek progress via Maribor success

Having mounted a remarkable comeback last time out, Sevilla travel to Slovenia knowing that three points aginst Group E's bottom side Maribor will take them into the last 16.

Sevilla celebrate their matchday five comeback
Sevilla celebrate their matchday five comeback ©Getty Images

Sevilla FC mounted one of the UEFA Champions League's most remarkable comebacks on matchday five, and that has put them within sight of a place in the round of 16 as they conclude their Group E campaign at NK Maribor.

• The Spanish side came from three goals down at half-time to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool FC on 21 November, and now have eight points – one less than the English team but two more than third-placed FC Spartak Moskva.

Sevilla will therefore qualify with a draw, or if Spartak fail to win at Liverpool. The Andalusians will also clinch first place if they win and Liverpool do not.

• Maribor, who have two points and lost 3-0 in Spain on matchday two, will finish fourth.

Previous meetings
• These clubs were paired together in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 32 – a campaign that would end with Sevilla holding the trophy aloft, the first of their record three straight triumphs in the competition.

• The first leg in Slovenia finished 2-2, Marcos Tavares giving the hosts a 33rd-minute lead. Kevin Gameiro (47) and Federico Fazio (72) turned things around but Maribor substitute Dare Vršič levelled nine minutes from time.

• The line-ups at the Stadion Ljudski vrt on 20 February 2014 were:
Maribor: Handanović, Filipović, Milec, Mezga (Vršič 75), Tavares, Mendy (Fajić 86), Dervišević (Cvijanovič 87), Bohar, Viler, Rajčević, Arghus.
Sevilla: Varas, Carriço, Fazio, Pareja (Iborra 59), Navarro, Diogo Figueiras, Cristóforo (Trochowski 84), Rakitić, Cheryshev (Marin 40), Vitolo, Gameiro.

• Back in Spain, goals either side of half-time from José Antonio Reyes (42) and Gameiro (59) took Sevilla through despite another late Vršič strike (90+2).

Match background

Maribor
• The Slovenian champions have lost just one of their three home games against Spanish opposition, suffering a 3-0 defeat by Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1992/93 European Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg (1-9 aggregate). They held Villarreal CF 1-1 in a UEFA Intertoto Cup third round second leg in 2006 (2-3 aggregate).

• Maribor recorded their heaviest European loss in their last home match, going down 7-0 against Liverpool on matchday three. They had opened Group E with a 1-1 draw against Spartak.

• That Liverpool reversal halted Maribor's eight-game unbeaten home run in Europe (W5 D3). In fact, they have lost just five of their last 17 European matches, home and away (W6 D6).

• However, Maribor have not won any of their eight home fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper, group stage to final (D3 L5).

• The Slovene outfit are in the group stage for a third time, having previously competed in 1999/2000 and 2014/15. In that latter group appearance they drew 1-1 at home to both Sporting Clube de Portugal and Chelsea, and lost 1-0 to FC Schalke 04.

• Maribor qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League by winning a sixth Slovenian title in seven seasons in 2016/17. They reached the group stage by overcoming HŠK Zrinjski of Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-2 on aggregate in the second qualifying round (2-1 away, 1-1 home) and Iceland's FH Hafnarfjördur in the next round (1-0 home, 1-0 away). In the play-offs they went down 2-1 at Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC in the first leg but progressed on away goals thanks to a 1-0 home success.

Sevilla
• The Spanish side are yet to win away in Group E, and endured their heaviest UEFA Champions League defeat in losing 5-1 at Spartak on matchday three. They picked up a 2-2 draw at Liverpool in their first game.

• Sevilla have lost only two of their last ten away matches in UEFA competition (W3 D5): at Spartak and the 2-0 reverse at Leicester City FC in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg, which completed a 3-2 aggregate loss.

• Last term, Sevilla made it to the round of 16 for the first time since 2009/10 – but they have never gone any further in the UEFA Champions League era. This is their fifth group stage campaign, and third in a row.

• Sevilla qualified by finishing fourth in the 2016/17 Spanish Liga. They beat Turkey's İstanbul Başakşehir in August's play-offs, winning the away first leg 2-1 before a 2-2 draw in southern Spain.

• Those 2013/14 matches against Maribor were Sevilla's only experience of Slovenian opponents before this season.

Coach and player links
• Striker Sunny Omoregie started his career in Spain, playing for CF Palencia in 2012/13 and Mérida AD the following season in the Tercera División.

Match facts

Maribor
• Maribor's 18-match unbeaten league run, (W13 D5) in the league, which began two games before the end of last season, ended with a 2-1 defeat at NK Celje on 25 November.

• Maribor have won three of their last seven matches in all competitions.

• Saturday's 2-1 win against ND Gorica was the first time Maribor have registered more than once in their last eight home games. They have mustered just 14 goals in 16 outings on their own turf all season.

• Marcos Tavares has scored six goals in his last seven matches.

• Maribor's Slovenian Cup ambitions were ended at the quarter-final stage by NK Olimpija Ljubljana, a 1-1 draw on 29 November completing a 4-1 aggregate defeat.

• Jasmin Mešanović is out until the new year after suffering a head injury in the second leg against Olimpija.

Sevilla
• Sergio Escudero, Éver Banega and Gabriel Mercado will incur a suspension with their next bookings.

• Coach Eduardo Berizzo is on leave after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

• Sevilla are five games unbeaten, winning four of them and scoring 14 in the process.

• Wissam Ben Yedder has scored five goals in his last three appearances and has 13 in 17 outings this season.

• Sevilla have scored just 19 goals in 14 Liga games this term.

• Steven N'Zonzi made his debut for France in the 2-0 friendly win against Wales on 10 November.

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