Europa League Final Preview: Sevilla Meet Inter as Conte Vows For Glory

Inter meet Spanish outfit Sevilla in Germany tomorrow night, in the belated final of the 2020 Europa League.

Looking back towards the start of the year, it’s amazing that we’re even looking forward to a Europa League Final. Inter and Sevilla will go head-to-head at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, as Antonio Conte vows for silverware in his first season with the Nerazzurri.

Conte and Inter’s domestic season finished strongly. They lost just once after the post-COVID restart and having won three of their last four games – all of which to-nil – they ended in 2nd-place of the Serie A table, only a point behind Juventus in the end.

Not long after their league duties were finished were they back into European action. In three Europa League games this month Inter have won all three to make it to the final, in what’s been a modified route, having overcome all of Getafe, Bayer Leverkusen, and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Semi-final.

Inter claimed a promising 5-0 win at home to the Ukrainian side to book their final with Sevilla, who also had a strong 2019-20 campaign. Former Spain and Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui guided Sevilla to a 4th-place finish in La Liga and arguably had a more difficult Europa League run-in than Inter.

They’ve beaten Roma, Wolves, and Manchester United on their route to the final. Tomorrow night will represent the first meeting between Sevilla and Inter since 2008, where the two sides played out a 0-0 draw.

Among the Sevilla ranks, Inter should better watch out for Suso – one who knows the Nerazzurri very well, having spent six seasons at Milan

Both Sevilla and Inter then are in-form, and worthy representatives of their respective nations in tomorrow’s final. The match could also be a showcase for several names, one being Sevilla full-back Sergio Reguilon.

The 23-year-old is wanted by Napoli, who lead the likes of Chelsea and Everton in the race to sign him, and tomorrow night will be the perfect opportunity for Gennaro Gattuso to see what he can do against firm Italian opposition.

Another player who’ll be looking to cause Inter damage is former Milan man Suso – the Spaniard spent six years at Milan and made over 100 appearances before joining Sevilla on an 18-month loan deal last January, before signing permanently this summer.

But Inter will arguably go into tomorrow as the favorites. They’ve produced a fine domestic season and their main hopes of silverware will be through Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez – the duo scored 37 Serie A goals between them last season, with the latter being tipped with a move to Barcelona, and Lionel Messi potential coming the other way.

Inter’s hopes of bringing the Europa League home mostly lie on Antonio Conte’s formidable attacking pair – the LuLa, featuring Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez

Speaking to about the pairing, Conte said:

I knew Lukaku very well because he’s a player I’d followed for some time. I tried many times to sign him at my former clubs. I knew the characteristics he had.

As for Lautaro, he was a player I had admired on television, even though he hadn’t played much last year. I saw his capability and quality.

It was inevitable that, working together, and working a lot, the understanding between the two would develop. They’re players who have the typical selfishness of a forward, but also the selflessness to play for the team and help others score.

Neutral fans are in for a treat tomorrow night – both sides have plenty of goals in them with Inter registering 81 in the Serie A last season, and Sevilla managing 54. But the forward pairing of Lukaku and Lautaro is what will have most fans watching.

For Conte, lifting the Europa League would mark a second time he’s done so in his footballing career, having won the UEFA Cup in 1993 with Juventus as a player.

A fine achievement it’d be for him to win the rebranded trophy again tomorrow night, but Sevilla will be right up for the game and with the Spanish outfit having won the tournament 5 times in the last 15 years, fans could well be expecting a 6th.