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Aug 21, 2020 at 8pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
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Europa League final: The story of Sevilla's season

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Sevilla's 2019-20 campaign to date as they prepare for Friday's Europa League final with Inter Milan.

Sevilla are going in search of a record-extending fourth Europa League crown when they take on Inter Milan in Friday's final at the RheinEnergieStadion.

Los Nervionenses finished fourth in La Liga and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the last-16 stage, but they can end 2019-20 on a real high by coming out on top in Cologne.

They have won all five of their UEFA finals - only Liverpool and Real Madrid have won more in a row - but are slight outsiders for this week's clash with Serie A giants Inter.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Sevilla's campaign has panned out up to this point both domestically and on the continent.

Sevilla players celebrate Suso's goal against Manchester United on August 16, 2020© Reuters

La Liga

There was a big turnover of players at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan last summer, with the likes of Jules Kounde, Rony Lopes, Lucas Ocampos and Youssef En-Nesyri being signed.

After a positive pre-season campaign under new boss Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla carried their momentum into the new campaign with three wins and a draw in their first four games.

Indeed, Lopetegui's side temporarily climbed into top spot after beating Alaves in mid-September, but they would not reach those heights again.

Three defeats in four matches, including a 4-0 thrashing against Barcelona, saw them slip down the standings into sixth place, their lowest position of the campaign.

Los Nervionenses have gained a reputation for making themselves tough to beat, however, and they lost just three of their remaining 30 league matches.

Heading into the three-month coronavirus-enforced hiatus on the back of two wins and two draws, Sevilla stepped things up upon their return to action in June.

Their form was patchy at times, following up four successive draws with four wins on the spin, but they finished 10 points clear of Villarreal to hold down fourth place.

Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos celebrates opening the scoring against Real Betis on June 11, 2020© Reuters

Copa del Rey

After overcoming lower-league opposition Bergantinos and Escobedo in their first two domestic cup games, Sevilla then had a tougher test against Leganes in the last 16.

Goals from Fernando, Ocampos and Oliver Torres saw them through 3-1 winners, but then came one of the lowest points of their campaign in the next round.

A trip to Segunda Division outfit Mirandes was supposed to provide an easy route through to the quarters, yet that did not prove the case at the Estadio Municipal de Anduva.

Matheus Aias put Miranda two goals ahead inside the opening half an hour and Alvaro Rey added a third, rendering Nolito's late goal nothing more than a consolation.

It was very much an opportunity missed for Sevilla and left them with just the Europa League to focus on in terms of silverware.

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Europa League

As is the case any season they enter UEFA's secondary competition, Sevilla were considered among the favourites to go all the way.

They lived up to their billing in the early stages when winning their opening five matches, keeping a clean sheet in four of those, to ease through as Group A winners.

Romanian side Cluj gave Sevilla an almighty scare in the first knockout round, however, with a late El-Nesyri goal needed to rescue a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

That goal proved to be even more important a week later as Los Nervionenses could only manage a goalless draw in Seville, seeing them progress on away goals.

Lopetegui's men then had to wait more than five months to resume their European campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a one-legged last-16 tie against Roma next up.

What was supposed to be a difficult test turned out to be a straightforward 2-0 win for Sevilla, before then deservedly seeing off a tired Wolverhampton Wanderers side 1-0.

Having seen off one Premier League side, Sevilla then knocked out another by battling to a 2-1 comeback win over Manchester United on Sunday thanks to a late Luuk de Jong goal.

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Sevilla players celebrate Suso's goal against Manchester United on August 16, 2020
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Sevilla's road to the Europa League final

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