It's curious to see Manchester installed as favourites for this game, Personally I've seen nothing from Man Utd to suggest they are favourites here.
- So far in this tournament Man Utd have been handed an extremely easy route. As I mentioned this morning in a tweet, Utd haven't faced a team from a Top 5 league this season. Club Brugge who rank 44th on the EuroClubIndex are the best team they've faced. The test of Sevilla at a neutral venue will be a extremely tough for this Utd side
- Utd lacked creativity and energy in their last match with FC Copenhagen. As we know Utd tend to perform best when they can counter teams who press high up the pitch. We won't get that from Sevilla, they will play a conservative game
- Man Utd generated 2.48xG in that match (incl extra time) while conceding 0.89xGA. Other than the penalty, Man Utd failed to create any "Big" chances. Although they got off 26 attempts on goal, the vast majority of these were low % quality chances.
- In the EPL Man Utd played just two matches against opponents that we could put on Sevilla's level (Spurs and Leicester) against Spurs they were the better team but failed to win (1-1, xG 0.49-1.45) against Leicester they won 2-0 on the final day of the season. Looking at non-penalty xG they were poor (0.64 - 1.1 in Leicester's favour)
- As was mentioned in great detail this season, Man Utd were awarded a massive 14 penalties this season (EPL only)
- If we just measure Man Utd's non-penalty xG for the season they actually rank worse than Southampton (6th best in EPL)
- Sevilla's record in the UEL is stunning, especially in KO ties. The fluke loss to Slavia Prague last season is the only blemish since 13/14
- Sevilla unlike Utd have faced top quality opposition in these KO rounds and I think that will benefit them greatly here. They took our an in-form Roma (2-0) and Wolves (1-0)
- From those two matches against formidable opponents, Sevilla conceded just 3 shots on target (one was a penalty)
- From their UEL games Sevilla have average 1.8 goals per 90 while posting an even better 2.1xG per 90
- At the back they have been excellent two with 0.4 goals conceded per 90 with 0.72xGA
- That defensive record is in no short part down to how organised their backline is. Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde have proven to be one of the best CB partnerships in Europe this season.
- In this competition Sevilla have allowed just 0.14 goals per 9o with Kounde on the pitch and 0.19 goals per 90 with Diego Carlos on the pitch
- Since lockdown Sevilla are unbeaten. We have to go way back to the 9th of February to find the last time they were beaten (vs Celta) - One thing about the loss though, the xG suggest a draw was a fairer result, also Sevilla were without two of their regular back 4 (Sergio Reguilón and Jules Koundé)
- You won't find a single match this season when Sevilla were dominated. Even in their 4-0 loss to Barca they were incredibly unlucky (xG 2.87 - 1.75 in Sevilla's favour)
I think we can expect a tentative approach from both teams but overall this season Sevilla have shown they're the consistent performers who are always difficult to beat. The value side here has to be Sevilla to avoid defeat at these odds
Sevilla +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.61 with 18bet/Betfair Ex - 2 units