Sevilla's quest for a record fourth UEFA Europa League triumph continues with a quarter-final against competition debutants Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Sevilla's quest for a record fourth UEFA Europa League triumph continues in the German city of Duisburg, venue for their round of 16 victory against Roma, as they vie with competition debutants Wolverhampton Wanderers for a place in the semi-finals.
• Wolves, in their first European adventure for 39 years, finished runners-up to Braga in Group K, accumulating 13 points, and were comfortable winners over fellow UEFA Europa League first-timers Espanyol in the round of 32 (4-0 h, 2-3 a). They squeezed past Greek champions Olympiacos in the round of 16, Raúl Jiménez's penalty at Molineux proving sufficient to see them through after a 1-1 draw in Greece.
• Sevilla coasted through Group A last autumn, winning their first five matches before signing off with a defeat at fellow qualifiers APOEL. They found the going tougher in the round of 32, needing the away goals rule to get past Romanian champions CFR Cluj (1-1 a, 0-0 h), but rediscovered their best form to beat Roma 2-0 in their single-leg round of 16 tie, first-half strikes from Sergio Reguilón and Youssef En-Nesyri at the MSV Arena carrying the club through to their fourth UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
• This is the clubs' first meeting in UEFA competition.
• Wolves have already overcome Spanish opposition this season, eliminating Espanyol in the round of 32. Their only other games against a Spanish club came back in the 1959/60 European Cup second round, when they were twice beaten heavily by Barcelona (0-4 a, 2-5 h).
• English teams have been frequent adversaries for Sevilla in recent years, with results largely favouring the Andalusian side. Victorious against Liverpool in the 2016 UEFA Europa League final (3-1) – as they had been against Middlesbrough in the UEFA Cup equivalent a decade earlier (4-0) – they have lost just once in six games against Premier League opposition since then, 0-2 at Leicester City in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (2-3 aggregate). Twelve months later, however, they overcame Manchester United in the same round, drawing 0-0 in Seville and winning 2-1 at Old Trafford.
• In their first season after promotion to the Premier League, Wolves finished seventh in 2018/19 to return to European competition for the first time since they lost in the first round of the 1980/81 UEFA Cup to PSV Eindhoven.
• Wolves began this UEFA Europa League campaign in July 2019 and went on to win all six qualifying matches, knocking out Crusaders, Pyunik and, in the play-offs, Torino. They lost their opening group game, 0-1 at home to Braga, but took maximum points off Beşiktaş (1-0 a, 4-0 h) and Slovan Bratislava (2-1 a, 1-0 h) as well as drawing 3-3 in northern Portugal.
• The West Midlanders' best European experience by some distance – and their only other post-Christmas participation in UEFA competition – came in the inaugural UEFA Cup of 1971/72, when they went all the way to the final before losing 3-2 on aggregate to English rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
• Wolves' European record this season is W12 D2 L2 with 38 goals scored and 13 conceded. The only one of the 16 matches in which they failed to score was the Matchday 1 fixture at home to Braga.
• Previous UEFA competition visits to Germany have brought one win and three defeats for Wolves. The club's very first European away fixture, in the 1958/59 European Cup first round, resulted in a 2-1 defeat by Schalke in Gelsenkirchen to complete a 4-3 aggregate loss.
• Sevilla played 16 UEFA Europa League matches last season, progressing from the second qualifying round to the round of 16, where they were dramatically eliminated by Slavia Praha after an extra-time defeat in the Czech capital. The Andalusian club re-qualified for this competition by finishing sixth in the 2018/19 Liga, which secured an automatic group stage berth.
• The three-time UEFA Europa League winners have never failed to progress from their group, making it five qualifications out of five this term and doing so as group winners for the third time. They defeated both Qarabağ and Dudelange home and away and also won 1-0 at home to APOEL before ending the section with a defeat by the same scoreline in Cyprus. Their final tally of 15 points was the most achieved by any team in this season's group stage, although the two draws against CFR which followed meant that the victory against Roma ended a three-match winless streak.
• Sevilla have won all three of their previous UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, overcoming Porto in 2013/14 (0-1 a, 4-1 h), Zenit in 2014/15 (2-1 h, 2-2 a) and Athletic Club in 2015/16 (2-1 a, 1-2 h, 5-4 on pens). In each of those seasons they went on to lift the trophy.
• Sevilla have a positive record on German soil in UEFA competition (W7 D1 L3), all of those matches bar the recent win in Duisburg against Roma having been played against German hosts.
Links and trivia
• Wolves have two Spanish players in their squad who have represented Liga clubs – Adama Traoré (Barcelona 2013–14) and Jonny (Celta Vigo 2012–18).
• Three members of Sevilla's squad have played in England – Jesús Navas (Manchester City 2013–17), Suso (Liverpool 2012–15) and Luuk de Jong (Newcastle 2014).
• Wolves head coach Nuno Espírito Santo worked in Spain with Valencia from July 2014 to November 2015.
• Nuno and his Sevilla counterpart Julen Lopetegui are both former head coaches of Porto; neither won any trophies with the club.
• En-Nesyri, his Sevilla team-mate Yassine Bounou and Wolves' Romain Saïss are all Moroccan internationals.
• Wolves were among six UEFA Europa League group stage debutants this season and are the only one still involved in the competition.
• The English club are playing their 17th European fixture of the season, making it their longest ever continental campaign. Of the other UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists, only Copenhagen have played as many European matches this term. By contrast, this is only Sevilla's tenth European outing in 2019/20.
• Sevilla are one of two former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's quarter-finals, along with Manchester United. Three others – Internazionale, Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk – have also, like Sevilla, lifted the UEFA Cup.
• The Andalusian club have scored 123 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, and need one more to equal the competition record held jointly by Villarreal and Salzburg. They have also registered a record-equalling 39 wins, the same number as Salzburg.
• Wolves came seventh in the 2019/20 Premier League, missing out on a place in next season's UEFA Europa League as a result of eighth-placed Arsenal's victory against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
• Sevilla finished the 2019/20 Liga season in fourth place, thereby qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the sixth time.
• This is the only one of the four quarter-finals featuring two teams who began their 2019/20 European season in the UEFA Europa League. Manchester United are the only one of the other six quarter-finalists who did not kick off their continental campaign in the UEFA Champions League.
• Wolves have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Sevilla's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L1:
4-3 v PAOK, 1990/91 UEFA Cup first round
3-1 v Espanyol, 2006/07 UEFA Cup final
2-3 v Fenerbahçe, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16
4-3 v Real Betis, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16
4-2 v Benfica, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League final
5-4 v Athletic Club, 2015/16 UEFA Europa League quarter-final
• A former goalkeeper who was in Portugal's UEFA EURO 2008 squad but never won a senior cap, Nuno Espírito Santo was mostly a back-up during his playing career but as a manager he is very much at the forefront, having emerged as a studious, progressive coach during spells at Valencia, Porto and, since May 2017, Wolves. He first made his mark by taking Portuguese provincial club Rio Ave to two cup finals and into Europe before shining in Spain during an 18-month stint at Mestalla. He led Wolves into the Premier League in his first season and into the UEFA Europa League in his second.
• Sevilla appointed Julen Lopetegui as their head coach on a three-year contract in June 2019, the former goalkeeper returning to duty in the Spanish Liga after a brief spell in charge of Real Madrid had swiftly ended in October 2018. A highly successful stint with Spain's youth selections brought European titles with the Under-19s in 2012 and U21s the following year. He had 18 months at Porto before taking charge of the senior Spain side and qualifying them for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only to be dismissed on the eve of the tournament.