6 talking points ahead of Liverpool v Seville in the Europa League final
Liverpool face Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basle on Wednesday. Here's what everyone's talking about in the lead up to the game.
1. Is Liverpool's name on the cup?
History suggests the omens are good for Jurgen Klopp's side. Liverpool have reached six semi-finals in this competition's various guises and on each occasion they have progressed they have gone on to win the trophy (1973, 1976 and 2001). However, Sevilla boast an even more impressive record, having reached the final four times and won all of them (2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015).
2. Can Jurgen Klopp follow in the footsteps of the club's previous greats?
Should the German guide his side to victory in Basle he will become the sixth Liverpool manager to lift a European title after Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Gerard Houllier and Rafael Benitez. All are revered at Anfield and Klopp has already gone a long way to cementing his relationship with fans, immersing himself in local culture and forging a real bond with the supporters who now chant his name.
3. What would winning the Europa League mean to the Reds?
Firstly it would be their fourth success in the competition, coincidentally joining Sevilla for the most victories by any club, and a ninth major European trophy overall to draw level with Barcelona and AC Milan and three behind outright leaders Real Madrid. Secondly, it secures a welcome return to Champions League football next season - a competition Liverpool have played in just once in the last seven years.
4. Are there any interesting sub-plots?
Liverpool's left-back Alberto Moreno is facing his home-town club having come through the ranks to make 62 first-team appearances for the Andalusian club. His last match for Sevilla was their 2014 Europa League final victory over Benfica. Sevilla forward Jose Antonio Reyes and Liverpool's Kolo Toure were team-mates at Arsenal.
5. So what are Sevilla's chances?
Unai Emery is bidding for a personal treble as he seeks to lead his side to an unprecedented third successive victory in the competition. Sevilla's Europa League pedigree cannot be questioned with their four wins all coming since Liverpool's last European triumph in the 2005 Champions League. Victory for them would provide Spain with a 10th Uefa Cup/ Europa League success, lifting them above Italy as the competition's most successful nation.
6. But what about Sevilla's travel sickness?
Somewhat bizarrely for a team in Spain's top seven Sevilla's record on the road is woeful. In 26 away matches in La Liga and Europe this season they have recorded just one victory - and even that was in their own country against Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League quarter-finals last month. They obviously prefer home comforts with 19 victories in 25 games at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. They have already been to Basle this season and came away with a goalless draw.