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Valencia seek redemption against Sevilla

Valencia CF's final hopes hang by a thread once more as they bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Sevilla FC, but Juan Antonio Pizzi's side have reason to take heart.

Javier Fuego during Valencia's first-leg defeat
Javier Fuego during Valencia's first-leg defeat ©AFP/Getty Images

Valencia CF need another smart turnaround to make it to the UEFA Europa League final as they trail Sevilla FC 2-0 going into the home leg of their semi-final.

• Stéphane Mbia (33) and Carlos Bacca (36) struck in quick succession in the first leg, and while Valencia had chances to respond, they could not make their mark; however, Juan Antionio Pizzi's men have already retrieved a more challenging situation, overturning a 3-0 deficit against FC Basel 1893 in the quarter-finals.

• Only once before has the first leg of a UEFA Europa League semi-final been won by a two-goal margin; Valencia lost 4-2 to Club Atlético de Madrid in 2011/12, and went on to lose the return leg 1-0 too.

Previous meetings
• The teams met for the first time in UEFA competition in the first leg, though they know each other well from Spain, where Valencia have had the better of their 207 domestic meetings: W95 D35 L77.

• Valencia beat Sevilla 3-1 at home back in September, and were 2-0 winners at home against the Rojiblancos in January 2013 too. However, Sevilla won 2-1 at Mestalla in their February 2012 visit. There have been no draws in the last 19 games between these clubs at Mestalla (13 Valencia wins, six Sevilla wins) since a 1-1 league tie in April 1994.

• Valencia's record in 14 games against Spanish sides in Europe stands at W6 D3 L5 (W4 D1 L1 at home – W2 D2 L3 elsewhere in Spain). These results include the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League final, which Valencia lost 3-0 to Real Madrid CF in Paris.

• Sevilla have played 11 UEFA competition games against Spanish opponents with the record W4 D3 L4 (W2 D2 L1 at home – W1 D0 L3 elsewhere in Spain). These ties include two European finals: the 2006 UEFA Super Cup, in which they beat FC Barcelona 3-0 in Monaco, and the 2007 UEFA Cup showpiece in Glasgow, where they overcame RCD Espanyol on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

• Sevilla have already eliminated Spanish opponents in a European tie this season, getting the better of neighbours Real Betis Balompié on penalties in the round of 16.

Match background
• Valencia last reached a UEFA Europa League semi-final in 2011/12, when they lost to Atlético. That was their first defeat in a major UEFA competition semi-final, having previously come through one in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1979/80), two in the UEFA Champions League (1999/2000 and 2000/01) and one in the UEFA Cup (2003/04).

• Valencia won the 2003/04 UEFA Cup plus two editions of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – beating FC Barcelona in the 1962 final and GNK Dinamo Zagreb in the 1963 decider – which was the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. They could thus become the first club to win the tournament in all three of its incarnations.

• Sevilla have reached their third major UEFA semi-final and first since their back-to-back UEFA Cup successes in 2005/06 and 2006/07. They have yet to lose a two-legged UEFA semi-final.

• Sevilla are the longest surviving team in the competition and have become the fourth side to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals having started in the third qualifying round – after Fulham FC and Hamburger SV (2009/10) and 2011/12 winners Atlético. This is their 18th UEFA Europa League game this season.

Team facts
• Sevilla goalkeeper Beto turns 32 on the day of the second leg.

• Sevilla coach Unai Emery and goalkeeper Diego Alves worked together at UD Almería as well as Valencia.

• In his only season with Sevilla before joining Barcelona, Valencia's Seydou Keita scored four goals in 31 Liga games as the Andalusian side finished 2007/08 in fifth place.

• Valencia defender Antonio Barragán began his career at Sevilla's youth academy before moving to Liverpool FC in 2005.

• Valencia's Jérémy Mathieu and Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro are French internationals, while Sevilla's Beto and Valencia's Ricardo Costa and João Pereira have represented Portugal.

• Sevilla are on a quest to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League for the third time. Only three other sides have reached that mark before – Juventus (1976/77, 1989/90, 1992/93), FC Internazionale Milano (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98) and Liverpool (1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01).

• Valencia matched the biggest win in the competition with their 5-0 victory (after extra time) at home to FC Basel 1893. Although five goals have now been scored by a club in a UEFA Europa League game on 25 occasions, no team has ever scored six or more in the competition's 1022 matches, group stage to final.

• Paco Alcácer's hat-trick against Basel was the 25th in the UEFA Europa League and the fourth this season. Three have been scored by Spaniards, with the Valencia forward following in the footsteps of Jonatan Soriano (FC Salzburg) and Roberto Soldado (Tottenham Hotspur FC). The odd man out is Trabzonspor AŞ striker Olcan Adın.

• Alcácer, who is suspended for the second leg, is the top scorer left in the competition with seven goals and needs one more to match Soriano as the overall leading marksman this season.

• Valencia have scored more goals (23), had more attempts off target (89) and won more corners (81) and free-kicks (81) than any other side in this season's UEFA Europa League.

Coach information
• Valencia dismissed Miroslav Djukić in December after six months at the helm.

• Juan Antonio Pizzi is now in charge at Valencia, having returned to Spain – for whom he made 22 international appearances – after establishing himself as a coach in South America. Born in Argentina, the striker played for CD Tenerife and Valencia before winning a title, two Spanish Cups and the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona. Following spells with Porto and Villarreal CF, he hung up his boots in 2002, and briefly played polo.

• Sevilla coach since January 2013, Emery started out as a midfielder at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, but spent the bulk of his career in Spain's second division, switching from playing to coaching at Lorca Deportiva CF after a serious knee injury. Having led Almería to the top tier he coached Valencia from 2008 to 2012, with his side regular European contenders during that spell. More recently he had a brief stint at FC Spartak Moskva.

• During his four seasons in charge of Valencia between 2008 and 2012, Emery led the east-coast side to three third-place Liga finishes.

Shoot-out record
• Valencia's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
3-4 (away) v FC Steaua Bucureşti, 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32
4-5 (neutral) v FC Bayern München, 2000/01 UEFA Champions League final
5-4 (away) v Celtic FC, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
5-4 (neutral) v Arsenal FC, 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final

• Sevilla's record in four UEFA club competition penalty shoot-outs is W3 D1:
4-3 (away) v Real Betis Balompié, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16
2-3 (home) v Fenerbahçe SK, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16
3-1 (neutral) v RCD Espanyol. 2006/07 UEFA Europa League final
4-3 (away) v PAOK FC, 1990/91 UEFA Cup first round

Final permutations
• Sevilla or Valencia will be the home team in the final, meeting the winner of the tie between SL Benfica and showpiece hosts Juventus in Turin on 14 May.

• Valencia have yet to play either of their potential final opponents.

• Sevilla have never met Juventus but took on Benfica in the preliminary round of the 1957/58 European Cup, winning 3-1 in Spain then drawing 0-0 in Lisbon.