Evening all! Sports Mole's live Europa League coverage continues from the Estadio Ramon as Sevilla welcome La Liga rivals Villarreal. The home side will enter this match as the firm favourites to advance following a 3-1 victory in the first leg, but there is still much to play for in Seville.
Right, before anything else, let me bring you the confirmed team news.
SEVILLA: Rico; Diogo, Pareja, Kolo, Tremoulinas; Mbia, Iborra, Carrico; Vidal, Gameiro, Vitolo
VILLARREAL: Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, Bailly, Rukavina; Jonathan, Pina, Trigueros, Campbell; Uche, Vietto
So there we have it. As expected, Sevilla boss Unai Emery has recalled Kevin Gameiro to his starting XI, with the Frenchman taking the lead striking role from Carlos Bacca. In-form Vitolo is also fit to return from injury, while Aleix Vidal starts on the opposite side ahead of Jose Antonio Reyes. Stephane Mbia and Daniel Carrico also start in the middle of the park for the hosts.
Villarreal boss Marcelino, meanwhile, has selected arguably his strongest available XI, with leading scorer Luciano Vietto joined in attack by Ikechukwu Uche. Jonathan dos Santos and Joel Campbell also start in wide areas, while Antonio Rukavina comes in for the suspended left-back Jaume Costa. Giovani dos Santos
and Gerard Moreno, however, are both only on the bench.
This two-legged affair is the first time that these two sides have met in European competition, but they are, of course, very familiar due to their time in La Liga. Overall, the pair have come together in 33 competitive matches in Spain. Sevilla have recorded 17 wins, while Villarreal have won eight. In more recent history, Sevilla have had the Yellow Submarine's number – remaining unbeaten in their last four meetings.
As mentioned, Sevilla will enter the match as the firm favourites to advance following an impressive 3-1 win in the first leg last week. Vitolo was on target after just 13 seconds for Sevilla, which became the fastest goal in the history of the Europa League. Stephane Mbia and Kevin Gameiro were also on the scoresheet for the visitors, while Luciano Vietto netted for Villarreal.
In total, Sevilla have won this competition on three occasions (2006, 2007 and 2014). Villarreal, meanwhile, have reached this stage of the competition for the first time since the 2010-11 season, when they were advanced to the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Porto.
Sevilla will also enter this match on the back of a fine form of form. Unai Emery's side have won four of their last five games in all competitions, with Sunday's 3-0 win over Elche in the league moving them to within four points of fourth-place Atletico Madrid in La Liga. As it stands, they sit fifth, just three points clear of Villarreal, who have also had an impressive season to date.
The home side have also won their last six European home matches and indeed triumphed in each of their last four UEFA ties against La Liga opponents – Osasuna in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup semi-finals, Espanyol in the 2006-07 final and Real Betis in last season's Europa League. Villarreal, on the other hand, have lost two of their three two-legged ties against Spanish opposition.
The visitors, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 0-0 draw at Almeria in the league. Marcelino's side, as mentioned, are still very much in the race for the top four, while they reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey before losing to Barcelona. The Yellow Submarine have also won three of their last five European away games and all of those victories have come by margins of two goals or more.
Interestingly, these two sides will meet again in the league this weekend in a match that could have huge ramifications in the race for European football. That particular fixture will take place at El Madrigal, which will be a relief for Villarreal. Incredibly, Sevilla have not lost in their own stadium for over a year in all competitions. That is the size of the task for Villarreal tonight!
PREDICTION! In truth, I am finding it difficult to look past Sevilla here. They are in a very strong position from the first leg and as mentioned, have been in sensational form in Seville over the last 12 months. I think that the home side will win 2-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.
Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. It is a rainy old night in Seville, but the fans have still turned up in their numbers. The hosts get the first 45 minutes underway.
You just get the feeling that Villarreal need to score the first goal this evening if they are to stand a chance of turning the tie around. It has been a fast start in the middle of the park, with both teams attempting to gain an early foothold. It must be said that the atmosphere is fantastic.
CHANCE! The first real chance falls to the visitors as Trigueros shows excellent feet outside the box before attempting to curl one into the bottom corner, but Rico makes the save.
CHANCE! A poor mistake from centre-back Musacchio presents Iborra with a shooting chance outside the Villarreal box, but Asenjo is down to make a smart save. End-to-end football here.
Tonight's referee is Martin Atkinson and it has been a busy opening seven minutes for the English official as late challenges continue to arrive. The fact that the pitch is so wet is great news for the neutral. There is just something about football in the rain that raises the tempo and atmosphere.
The play continues to flow from end-to-end in Seville, with Vitolo coming close to collecting a through pass from Iborra. This is a proper game at the moment, the fans are up for it and both sets of players are showing plenty of determination. The only thing missing is goals!
SAVE! Mario tries his luck for the away side following a period of possession, but his effort is pushed past the post by Rico. There has been a shoot on sight policy thus far in Seville.
This is almost like a basketball match at the moment as both teams continue to enjoy spells in the final third of the field. I would be astounded if we did not have goals this evening. I might have just cursed it!
Good spell for Sevilla in the last couple of minutes as they force two corners in quick succession, but Musacchio is on hand to clear with a super header. Plenty happening, but still no goals in Seville.
Another half-chance for the home side as Vidal delivers a super low cross towards Iborra, but the midfielder fires wide of the post. Not too much from Villarreal in the final third at the moment as Campbell once again loses control under pressure. The noise inside the stadium remains deafening.
Mario is almost playing as a right winger for Villarreal at the moment as the Spaniard delivers another low cross towards the near post, but Carrico is on hand to clear. The referee is allowing the match to flow at the moment, but has been forced to award a couple of free kicks. Still goalless on the night.
What has been good about this match is the lack of play-acting. There have been some late challenges, but both sets of players have risen to their feet and resumed the match. No waving of cards or the like. Trigueros strikes one from outside the Sevilla box, but it is deflected just wide.
Just a reminder that the only score that would bring extra-time this evening is 3-1 Villarreal. Sevilla are in a very strong position following their comprehensive victory in the first leg last week.
BOOKING! Vietto (Villarreal) is booked for a tug on Tremoulinas.
Vidal has been nice and busy for the home side thus far and he comes close to sliding a pass into Gameiro, but Bailly is on hand to make the clearance. Sevilla are the better team at the moment.
Another half-chance for the home side as Gameiro drives down the right before delivering towards the near post, but Asenjo is on hand to claim. Villarreal enjoy a period of possession down the other end moments later, but they do not get very far with it. Still goalless after 26 minutes in Seville.
Half-chance for Villarreal this time as Campbell sets up Pina outside the box, but his effort is straight into the body of Rico, who immediately releases Diogo down the right. Better from the visitors there.
BOOKING! Bailly (Villarreal) is booked for a heavy challenge on Iborra.
The resulting free kick causes all sorts of problems inside the Villarreal box, but Iborra cannot convert from a wide angle and the danger is eventually cleared. Sevilla continue to look the more dangerous.
Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining at the Estadio Ramon and the score is still 0-0 on the night and 3-1 Sevilla on aggregate. Villarreal just need to show more in the final third here.
End-to-end football in the last few moments, with Villarreal starting to commit more players in the final third. Rukavina eventually tries his luck from outside the box, but the full-back misses the target.
Slightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of minutes, with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. Villarreal just need to keep their discipline at the moment.
Not too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last few minutes, with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. The onus is on Villarreal to press as the game develops.
Half-chance for the home side as Vitolo drives down the left before driving a low cross towards Iborra, but Asenjo manages to claim at the vital moment. Villarreal are all over the place at the back, but they have to start going for it in the final third. They need to score at least three times in this match.
Super defending from Bailly as the Villarreal centre-back comes across to challenge Vidal, who looked to be through on goal. Excellent work from the Ivorian, who has such pace and strength.
CHANCE! Best chance for some time as Trigueros collects a loose ball on the edge of the Sevilla box, but the midfielder's effort flashes wide of the post. Those chances really need to go in for the visitors!
Sloppy defending from Sevilla almost allows Vietto to break through on goal, but Kolo steps across to block the Argentine. I should not think that there will be too much added time at the end of the half.
HALF-TIME: Sevilla 0-0 Villarreal
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the score still 0-0 on the night. Sevilla, meanwhile, remain 3-1 ahead on aggregate. Both sides have had opportunities to break the deadlock, but it has been a half of poor finishing. Villarreal need at least three goals in the second half.
STATS! Villarreal have shaded the possession with 56%, while they have had seven attempts - three of which have been on target. Sevilla, meanwhile, have registered just one attempt on target thus far. There have also been two bookings, both for the visitors, during what was a feisty half of football.
BENCH WATCH! Sevilla boss Unai Emery has plenty of attacking options on his bench this evening, with the likes of Bacca, Aspas, Reyes and Suarez all in reserve. Villarreal, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Giovani dos Santos, Gomez and Moreno. Will we see any half-time alterations?
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Villarreal find a way of turning this one around? It is the visitors that get the second 45 minutes of action underway.
SUB! Villarreal have made one change at the break, with Giovani replacing Uche.
Villarreal have a free kick just outside the Sevilla box as Mbia fells Giovani...
... Giovani takes the resulting free kick, but his effort is straight into the wall.
Mbia leaves the field following a strong challenge with Vietto, but returns moments later. We have not seen too much attacking intent from the home side since the break, which is not too much of a surprise. They can sit back and invite Villarreal on. It is the visitors that need at least three goals.
Villarreal continue to force the issue in the final third, but the final pass is just not there at the moment. The away supporters are still in fine voice, however, which is important at this stage.
Half-chance for the home side this time as Vidal delivers a dangerous cross from the right, but Iborra's flicked header is blocked by Bailly. Villarreal are straight down the other end moments later, but Giovani dos Santos cannot slide a pass into Vietto, who had found space. Still goalless on the night.
Not too much is happening at the moment in terms of clear chances, but Sevilla will not mind. They can defend deep and wait for their moment. Villarreal, on the other hand, have to start forcing it.
Vietto has had a wonderful season for Villarreal, but it has not happened for the Argentine this evening as another attack breaks down in the final third. Time is starting to run out and Sevilla know it as they continue to take time in the final third. Will Marcelino make another change? He has to.
BOOKING! Pina (Villarreal) is booked for a late challenge on Vitolo.
Half-chance for the home side as Vidal collects a loose ball outside the box, but his curling effort is collected by Asenjo. Some of the Villarreal defending this evening has been very, very sloppy.
These two teams play each other in the league on Sunday, but that clash will be at El Madrigal. You just get the feeling that Sevilla might be holding something back for that particular match. The hosts are not too prepared to push forward at the moment as they hold onto their 3-1 aggregate lead.
Mario has a half-chance inside the Sevilla box, but his effort is straight at Rico.
Possession football from Sevilla in the last couple of minutes, which is frustrating Villarreal. The visitors still need three goals, but they are not really forcing it, which is a surprise at this stage.
SUB! Sevilla make their first change as Bacca replaces Gameiro.
BOOKING! Musacchio (Villarreal) is booked for a late challenge on Iborra.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side to break the deadlock as Mbia meets a wonderful free kick from Vitolo, but the midfielder's header flashes just wide of the post.
CHANCE! Another wonderful opportunity for Sevilla as Iborra slides a super pass into Bacca, who is through on goal, but the Colombian checks back before having his cross cleared. Should have done better!
GOAL! Sevilla 1-0 Villarreal (Iborra)
Bacca just mis-placed a cross, but he finds a teammate this time! It is a simple goal for the hosts as the Colombian collects a pass from Mbia before squaring for Iborra, who cannot miss.
SUB! Villarreal make a second change as Moreno replaces Campbell.
Villarreal still need three goals, but that would take us into extra-time. Sevilla are almost there.
Villarreal have a free kick just outside the box as Mbia brings Vietto to the ground...
... GOAL! Sevilla 1-1 Villarreal (Giovani)
Super, super free kick from Giovani as the Mexican curls his effort into the corner of the net.
SUB! Sevilla make their second change as Reyes replaces Vidal.
Villarreal still need two more goals to force extra-time, but they have given themselves real hope following that excellent free kick from Giovani. It is difficult to see Sevilla conceding twice more...
RED CARD! BAILLY! Villarreal are reduced to 10 men as Bailly picks up his second yellow card for a strong challenge on Iborra. It might be a little harsh, but Villarreal are now down to 10 men here.
Giovani takes matters into his own hands for the visitors as he drives down the right before delivering, but Kolo is on hand to head clear under pressure from Vietto. Suddenly all happening in Seville!
SUB! Sevilla make their third and final change as Iborra is replaced by Suarez.
Half-chance for the home side as Bacca combines with Vitolo in the final third, but the former's effort is blocked en route to goal. Suarez drives down the left moments later, but his cross is cleared.
GOAL! Sevilla 2-1 Villarreal (Suarez)
Sevilla score their second of the match as Suarez heads a super cross from Tremoulinas into the bottom corner. Well, that ends Villarreal's already-slim hopes in the latter stages.
BOOKING! Mario (Villarreal) is booked for pulling Suarez to the ground.
SUB! Villarreal make their third change as Vietto is replaced by Dorado.
Little over three minutes of normal time remaining and Sevilla lead 2-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate. In truth, the second period has been much more entertaining than the first!
Possession football from the home side as we approach the final minute of normal time.
The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes of added time.
FULL-TIME: Sevilla 2-1 Villarreal
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Sevilla running out 2-1 winners on the night and 5-2 on aggregate. The Europa League holders march on! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!