Liverpool v Sevilla

18 May

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Europa League final: I don’t feel the pressure – Jurgen Klopp

BBC coverage

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could make his first start since early April in the Europa League final against Spanish side Sevilla.

The England midfielder, 25, returned from a knee injury in Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at West Brom.

Striker Divock Origi could also feature in Basel, Switzerland after returning to training following an ankle injury.

Defender Mamadou Sakho is still banned after failing a drugs test as the Reds chase their 12th major European trophy.

“I don’t expect to start,” said Henderson. “I know I’ve been out a long time and I’ve only played 25-30 minutes.

“When I’ve been injured the team has done very well and played in some big games to get to the final.

“I’m ready to play as long or as little as the manager wants me to.”

Sevilla – who have won the trophy for the past two seasons – have no new injury worries, with Denmark midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli out with a long-term knee injury.

Reds eye Champions League place

Liverpool know winning Europe’s secondary club competition will earn them a place in next season’s Champions League group stage.

But defeat would leave the Reds without European football – for the second time in three seasons – after they finished eighth in the Premier League.

“Everyone wants to play in the Champions League but if you look back on a career with no trophies and six seasons in the Champions League, it’s not the same,” said midfielder James Milner.

“It’s all about winning trophies and to win any European trophy is a massive achievement.”

Klopp ‘feels’ Reds opportunity

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Jurgen Klopp: Top 10 Liverpool moments

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could finish his debut season at Anfield by winning a major trophy.

The German, 48, replaced the sacked Brendan Rodgers in early October, five months after leaving Borussia Dortmund.

“I came here because I was really convinced about the qualities of these players and this squad, despite the doubts people had,” he said.

“To see how they have reached this final gives me a really good feeling.

“I am really happy they can show how strong they are and it is a big opportunity to make the final step this season and achieve something.

“I don’t feel the pressure. I cannot change. I feel opportunity.”

Can Sevilla extend Europa reign?

Liverpool v Sevilla - Europa League final<!–

Sevilla could become the first side since Bayern Munich, between 1974 and 1976, to win three major European trophies

Sevilla are aiming to win the Europa League for the third consecutive season, despite enduring a disappointing domestic campaign.

Unai Emery’s side finished seventh in La Liga after becoming the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to fail to win a single away game.

But their final league placing still assures them of European qualification – even if they lose in Basel.

“This is an opportunity to play in a third final and win it to change history and to have our names recorded forever and ever is very motivating,” said the 44-year-old Spaniard.

“We are winners, we are the champions and we have the possibility to defend our title.

“Sevilla does not fail when we are really focused.”

Emery said he would not underestimate a Liverpool side he said are among “the 10 best teams in the world”, nor would they be intimated by the Reds’ large travelling support.

Sevilla have sold 7,000 tickets for the match. Twice as many Liverpool fans are expected to be at the stadium on Thursday.


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