Emery: Benfica favourites

Sevilla Coach Unai Emery admits his team will probably start tonight’s Europa League final against Benfica as underdogs.

The Portuguese outfit have already won two trophies this season and, with two more to play for, are on course for a historic quadruple.

Nevertheless, the 42-year-old is optimistic the Rojiblancos can emerge victorious from the match in Turin and paid tribute to the Andalusians’ ‘dream’ run in Europe this season.

“This is the final challenge we face,” Emery said at his pre-match Press conference. “We need to face it and take it on.

“We respect our opponent and what is for certain is that we are both deserving finalists. In fairness, the big favourites were Juventus and Benfica eliminated them.

“Therefore, they could feel that they are the favourites but that doesn’t mean we don’t think we can beat them. We respect that they could be seen as favourites.

“All of our thoughts are concentrated solely on the match. Everything we can do we will do on the pitch. History is what matters.

“Playing in Europe gives you more than you could ever give to it. It has given a lot to Sevilla and to me personally.

“Our journey has been a long one but a precious one and the culmination is tomorrow. It has been a dream.

“We want to come out of it as winners but the campaign has been a success anyway. We started on 1st August and we have been through all different types of situations. Let’s see how we respond in this final match.

“It’s not a tie, it’s a final. It’s 90 minutes and it will either be them or us. Our response must be the best.

“The stakes of the Europa League final are getting bigger and bigger. After the Champions League, it has great prestige. Its growth is clear.

“I want to thank the Sevilla fans for their efforts because I am sure they are looking forward to the match. Staying with us throughout this competition is the result of a great effort by them.

“I am optimistic from when I get up to when I go to bed. But I am also objective.”

Emery was then asked about Benfica’s potential mindset heading into the match, as well as whether he had any injury doubts for the encounter with the Portuguese champions.

“Gameiro and Vitolo will be doubts. We don’t know how they will feel, nor whether they will come through training. They both have the desire to play and the doctor has given us permission to make the decision ourselves. No one is definitely out.

“Benfica have knocked out important teams but their extra motivation does not come from their disappointments last year, but from what they have done this year.

“I don’t know whether there is more pressure on them because I am not in their camp. I don’t know how they feel. I just want to concentrate on how we are feeling.”

Tags Benfica Emery