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Holders Sevilla hit by Pareja injury

UEFA.com's Joseph Walker examines how Sevilla FC will cope after centre-back Nicolas Pareja was laid off for "between six and seven months" with a cruciate ligament injury.

Nicolas Pareja has been ruled out for the rest of the season
Nicolas Pareja has been ruled out for the rest of the season ©AFP

Sevilla FC have lost the services of Nicolas Pareja for "between six and seven months" after the centre-back ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2-2 draw with FC Zenit that secured his side a UEFA Europa League semi-final berth.

The Argentina defender had to leave the field after 21 minutes in St Petersburg, where Kevin Gameiro struck with five minutes remaining to clinch a 4-3 aggregate quarter-final victory for the holders. "It is an injury that requires surgery, the date of which has not yet been fixed," read a statement from the Liga club, who will face ACF Fiorentina in the last four on 7 and 14 May. "He will be out for a period between six and seven months."

How will they cope?
Pareja has been a regular under coach Unai Emery since joining Sevilla in a permanent deal from FC Spartak Moskva last summer, starting 26 Liga games and forming a formidable partnership with Daniel Carriço at the heart of the back line. When the 31-year-old was withdrawn, Emery was forced into a couple of tactical tweaks, deploying central midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak deeper alongside Carriço.

"He's not used to playing at the back and that's not his game, but he did a good job, was calm and we spoke a lot," said the Portuguese of his new pairing with Krychowiak. However, it is unlikely the Polish international will be required to repeat the task, with Timothée Kolodziejczak – absent from Thursday's squad – set to come in as direct replacement for Pareja.