This Thursday at 19:00 CEST, Sevilla will be looking to hit the ground running and pick up a convincing win, killing off the tie which sees the winner advance to the Europa League Group Stage.
This won't be the first time Sevilla have paid the Czech Republic a visit. They have done so three times, twice against Slovan Liberec, both times in the Europa League and both matches ending in a draw - 0-0 in 06/07 and 1-1 in 13/14 - and one match against Slavia Prague in the 07/08 Champions League, with Sevilla coming out on top 3-0. Coincidentally, Sevilla have ended up winning the Europa League on penalties both times that they have played a match in the Czech Republic.
Sigma's best weapon will be their excitement. Sevilla must avoid the overconfidence which leads to fatal upsets like Feyenoord against Trencin
However, there is still a long way to go before thinking about any glorious final. First, the team must come up against Sigma Olomouc who picked up a good win over Kairat Almaty and who will be looking to cause an upset against the Nervionenses. The Czech's best weapon will be their excitement as an expectant sell-out crowd will be pushing their team on, as Thomas Vaclik has warned us.
Beyond this, it is evident that Sevilla are favourites, although this competition has demonstrated that overconfidence can lead to slip-ups. The Slovakian team Trencin knocked Feyenoord out in the last round, having routed them 4-0 in the away leg against all odds.
Sigma haven't made a good start to their league, with one win and four defeats
Sevilla will need to be the composed and determined team which stepped out onto the pitch in Vilnius a week ago, killing the game off in the first minutes. In fact, Pablo Machín has not spared his resources for the match, calling up almost all of his important players to make up a squad of top-level players who will be able to put in the required performance in Olomouc.
On the other hand, Sigma are not going through their best moment. With five games played in the league, they find themselves in 13th position, 4th from the bottom, having picked up one win and four defeats.