Next Wednesday night sees the Final of Europe’s second major club competition as Spanish side Sevilla take on the Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Europa League Final at the Stadion Narodowy in Poland.
This will be the 44th final of the tournament organised by UEFA, and the 6th since being renamed.
Nicknamed the ‘Warriors Of Light’ this will be Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's first European final. They are the second Ukrainian team to reach the UEFA Cup/Europa League final, after Shakhtar Donetsk, who defeated Werder Bremen in the 2009 final in Istanbul.
This will be the fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League final for Sevilla, who won all three of their previous finals (in 2006, 2007 and 2014). If Sevilla win their fourth title, they will become the outright record holder, breaking a tie with Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool.
Needless to say that the Spanish side will start as heavy favourites. Being the reigning holders they automatically qualified for the group stage of the tournament, and although they didn’t win the group they advanced in second position from the group that included Feyenoord, Rijeka, and Standard Liege, before defeating Borussia Monchengladbach, Villarreal, Zenit, and then Fiorentina en route to the final.
Dnipro have been the underdog in most of the matches they have played in this years tournament, and a place in the final looked a slim possibility when they were knocked out in a qualifier for the Champions League back in July. They then came through a play-off qualifier for the Europa League by beating Hajduk Split, before qualifying second in a league group that included Inter Milan, Saint-Etienne, and Qarabag, and knockout stages against Olympiacos, Ajax, Brugge, and then a tough semi-final against Napoli.
And there is even more incentive to lift the trophy in 2015, as this season's Europa League winners will automatically gain entry to the group stage of next year's Champions League.