In the usual odd little ceremony in Switzerland, UEFA held their Europa and Champions League semifinal draws today. With Martin Jorgensen in attendance as Fiorentina ambassador, the Viola were drawn against last year's Europa League champions, Sevilla. The first match will be in Spain, with the second leg to be played in Florence.
May 7th and May 14th
The Andalusian club is quite the Europa League specialist, not only winning the cup last season, but also winning in back to back trophies in 2006 and 2007, a potential bad omen for Fiorentina. Sevilla has had the most difficult march to the semifinals - rivaled, perhaps, only by Fiorentina's - beating highly fancied sides Borussia Monchengladbach, Villarreal, and Zenit St. Petersburg with considerable panache. Los Rojiblancos only drew their last game against Zenit; otherwise they were the outright winners of every knockout game they played. Oddly, the club managed by Unai Emery did not win their group, placing second to Feyenoord, drawing twice and losing once away from home in the early part of the competition.
Sevilla are currently 5th in La Liga, but boast an impressive 63 points, a total that would place them comfortably in 2nd were they in Italy. They also have a dynamic and multi-faceted attack, with goal threats coming from any of Kevin Gameiro, Denis Suarez, Vitolo, or Stephane M'Bia, among others. Carlos Bacca is the star of the side, with 17 league goals to his name.
Napoli drew Dnipro in the other Europa League semifinal, with the second leg being played in Russia. It should be an engrossing couple ties, with Sevilla - Fiorentina the romantic's choice. Thankfully this blog is full of them!