Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sevilla-Porto Preview: Rojiblancos must overturn one-goal deficit

Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro
Kevin Gameiro shapes as the key man for Sevilla as they prepare to host Porto in their Europa League quarter-final second leg.

Sevilla lost 1-0 in Portugal last week but should be confident of overturning that deficit on Thursday as they have won five of their past six games at home in all competitions.

As one of the leading goalscorers left in the competition this season, Gameiro has the pedigree to perform at continental level and showed he was in fine fettle in Sevilla's latest Liga encounter on Sunday.

Unai Emery's side thrashed Espanyol 4-1, with Gameiro scoring twice, and the Frenchman has now scored eight goals in his team's past 13 games.

The 26-year-old controlled Vitolo's cross on the stroke of half-time on Sunday before volleying into the net, while his second came in the 84th minute with a sharp finish after a one-two with Marko Marin.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker has four goals in the Europa League proper this season (plus one in the qualifying stages) and is level with Valencia's Paco Alcacer as the most prolific goalscorer whose side has yet to be eliminated.

Porto won the first-leg thanks to a diving header from skipper Eliaquim Mangala, who got on the end of Ricardo Quaresma's sublime cross.

However, in a blow for the 2011 Europa League champions, they will have to do without Brazilian midfielder Fernando in the return fixture, after he was sent off with three minutes to go at the Dragao.

Porto warmed up for their trip to Spain with a 3-1 victory over Academica in the league, the fourth win in five games for Luis Castro's men.

The Portuguese club also won the Europa League's predecessor, the Uefa Cup, in 2003, which Sevilla won twice - in 2006 and 2007.

A draw will be enough for Porto to advance, while last week's clean sheet means they also in the box seat to win on away goals.

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Sevilla-Porto Preview: Rojiblancos must overturn one-goal deficit Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown


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