"It is a big ask," said Sevilla coach Unai Emery, mindful that a 2-2 draw at Shakhtar last week may not be much of an advantage in Thursday's decider.
Article top media content
- Unai Emery predicts "90 tough minutes" for the holders
- Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro converted a late penalty as sides drew first leg 2-2
- The Spanish side have lost six of their last ten games in all competitions
- Shakhtar beat newly-crowned Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kyiv 3-0 at weekend
- The winner will face Villarreal or Liverpool in the final in Basel on 18 May
Sevilla: David Soria; Coke, Rami, Carriço, Escudero; N'Zonzi, Krychowiak; Vitolo, Banega, Konoplyanka; Gameiro.
Out: Krohn-Dehli (knee), Reyes (appendicitis)
Shakhtar: Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Malyshev, Stepanenko, Marlos, Taison, Kovalenko; Ferreyra.
Out: Azevedo (knee)
Doubtful: Gladkiy (unspecified), Dentinho (unspecified)
Unai Emery, Sevilla coach
To get to a final you have to take your chances. We need to give our opponents as few of them as possible. Both sides want to get to the final and it will be a very even game.
We're expecting the best Shakhtar there is – they won the tournament in 2009 and they're used to winning their league. Their coach is much more experienced than I am. It is a big ask – they'll be 90 tough minutes and we need to be ready for it.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
In Lviv we had a very good first half but failed to convert several counterattacks. Our biggest mistake, though, was that in the second period we sat back on our 2-1 lead, content to keep it that way until the end of the match.
It will be a complicated second leg. Sevilla are European specialists. There aren't many youngsters; it's all experienced players. And they are headed by a strong coach who does his homework on opponents and never fails to put his game plan across.
Espanyol 1-0 Sevilla (Caicedo 52)
Shakhtar 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv (Eduardo 33 78, Wellington Nem 73)
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Nick Aitken (@UEFAcomNickA)
Sevilla are on a dire run of Liga form, with just one win in seven quashing any hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League via their domestic competition. So Unai Emery's charges are putting all their eggs in a UEFA Europa League-shaped basket. "The fans don't need telling: they know how big a game this is," said winger Vitolo. "Whenever there's a game as big as this the stadium is full and the supporters are like a 12th man. We'll need them behind us."
Did you know?
• Shakhtar boast the player (Darijo Srna, 135) and coach (Lucescu, 213) with the most UEFA club competition matches among the last-four contenders. But Sevilla's Daniel Carriço is UEFA Europa League king. Find out why in our extensive match background.