Valencia vs. Sevilla: Date, Time, Live Stream Info, Prediction and Preview

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Valencia vs. Sevilla: Date, Time, Live Stream Info, Prediction and Preview
Miguel Angel Morenatti

Two of La Liga's top teams face each other for a place in the Europa League final, as Valencia battle Sevilla at the Mestalla.

Sevilla beat their national compatriots 2-0 in the first leg after goals from Stephane Mbia and Carlos Bacca, so they take a good lead away with them as they attempt to reach the final, to be held at Juventus Stadium.

Valencia have underperformed this season in La Liga and currently sit in eighth position, some 12 points off the Europa League qualifying places, per Sky Sports.

However, Sevilla have pushed hard to try to reach the top four and remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot. They currently sit in fifth place, six points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth.

Here is how you can catch the action on Thursday:

 

When: Thursday, May 1, at 8:05 p.m. BST/3:05 p.m. ET

Where: Mestalla, Valencia, Spain

Live Stream: Fox Soccer (U.S. only)

 

Key Storyline

Valencia Must Score

WhoScored.com
Predicted starting line-ups based on statistical analysis

After a disappointing first leg that provided no away goals for Valencia and a sorry defeat, the former Champions League finalists must take the game to their opponents and score twice without reply to save the tie.

The Mestalla side are expected to play with two strikers, per WhoScored.com's statistical analysis of the teams, with attacking midfielder Jonas partnering with Chile's Eduardo Vargas in attack.

Both players are capable of dropping deeper, so expect to see a fluid attack from Valencia on Thursday.

Valencia have not been in goalscoring form in La Liga in recent weeks. The team has only won two of its last 10 league matches, per Squawka. Two victories in as many months is hardly the form of a European competition finalist.

Miguel Angel Morenatti

But Valencia's form in the Europa League has been solid this season. They have managed to find the net on 23 occasions in their 13 matches, per Squawka, but their late-season crash in form will be a huge concern.

However, Valencia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi chose to blame the officials for his team's first-leg defeat, per Enis Koylu of Goal.com, after an offside decision was missed.

Koylu quotes the manager saying:

It was obvious, the action of the first goal changed the entire game. We need more clarification [on such contentious calls]. We need the evidence of [television] images. I'm sad because we gave it all yet we left with nothing. They took the lead and we didn't. But I'm proud of how we played in the field. Logically, after a defeat like this you always leave with a feeling of sadness. Today's result doesn't reflect what happened on the pitch.

No matter how good the officiating is in the second leg, Valencia will have to buck a worrying trend and produce a performance level that we have not seen since before Christmas.

They are facing a Sevilla team high on confidence, and Unai Emery's team will feel it is the favourite to progress.

 

Prediction

Miguel Angel Morenatti

In European semi-finals, it is always very hard to call who will make it to the grandest of stages, but this game seems a foregone conclusion.

Valencia are in the middle of a patch of terrible form and week in, week out seem to be consistently failing against all-comers.

Sevilla are riding high in La Liga, and they are one of the form teams in Spain. With nine wins from their last 11 league matches, per Squawka, it is very difficult to predict anything but one winner.

Valencia will battle, but they will be outclassed by the slicker and more confidently functioning unit.

Sevilla will make it to the final in Italy and have a real chance of winning the tournament.

Prediction: 1-1 (1-3 on aggregate)

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