Sevilla vs West Ham United preview: How to watch, kick off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 17: General view inside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League Knockout Round Play-Offs Leg One match between Sevilla FC and Dinamo Zagreb at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 17, 2022 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 begins this week, with arguably the biggest of all the ties being that of Spanish side Sevilla facing off against English team West Ham United, the first leg of which takes place on Thursday night.

Both clubs are already having impressive seasons within their own domestic competitions, but the potential prize of a major European trophy would elevate their respective seasons to another level entirely.

Julen Lopetegui's team may have been a little disappointed to drop out of Europe's premier competition, the UEFA Champions League, in the group stage, finishing behind both LOSC Lille and RB Salzburg in Group G.

However, given their prowess in this competition in the past - they have lifted the trophy six times, more than any other club - their fans will undoubtedly be hoping they can add yet another one to their collection.

Meanwhile, for David Moyes' Hammers, simply being in this position would have seemed almost unbelievable if you were to inform them that it would be the case just a couple of years ago, given their league finishes.

After an excellent campaign last year though, in which they finished in sixth place and two points off of the top four, they qualified for the Europa League, and after coming top of their group, it's no surprise they feel they have a good chance heading into this one.

Team News

Sevilla

Sevilla manager Lopetegui could be without striker Anthony Martial, with the Frenchman having been out the side due to injury recently, while Thomas Delaney also can't play due to his red card in Zagreb a couple of weeks ago.

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On top of that, defender Diego Carlos  may be absent as well, after he missed their most recent game in La Liga, away against Alaves last Friday, in which the team drew 0-0.

Finally, there have been various concerns over the past couple of weeks over the likes of Fernando, the Brazilian midfielder, and Papu Gomez too, the Argentine forward, so their involvement is yet to be confirmed.

West Ham United

As for West Ham, Moyes said after his side's game against Liverpool at the weekend: 'Jarrod [Bowen] underwent an MRI scan, and thankfully no significant injury has occurred. He will continue to be monitored by the medical team and will undergo further examination in the coming days.'

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Jarrod Bowen has been a key player for the East London side so far this season, but his involvement is in serious doubt after he picked up an injury on Merseyside on Saturday evening, though fortunately it doesn't appear to be as bad as first feared.

Another Englishman in the form of Declan Rice appears more likely to be eligible for selection, with the midfielder missing the loss to Liverpool due to illness, but he is expected to have recovered for the tip to Seville.

Predicted Lineups

Sevilla (4-3-3):

Bono; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Corona, En-Nesyri, Ocampos  

West Ham United (4-2-3-1):

Areola; Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Benrahma, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio

Form Guide

Sevilla

Considering the quality of the team's in Spain's top flight, Sevilla's league position - currently second behind only Real Madrid, and seven points ahead of FC Barcelona - should strike fear into the hearts and minds of West Ham.

Their recent form has been a little patchy, with just one win in their last four games, but they did beat Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League play-offs who are by no means a weak side, so will be a very tough opponent.

West Ham United

Nonetheless, the Hammers do pose a serious threat of their own, sitting in a very respectable sixth place at the moment, which puts them ahead even of Antonio Conte's Tottenham Hotspur, which is no mean feat whatsoever.

Like their upcoming opposition though, their past few games have been something of a stutter, with David Moyes' side only winning a game once out of their previous five fixtures, drawing once and losing three times.

Ones To Watch

Lucas Ocampos

There's a variety of players that could've been chosen as the one to watch from Sevilla, given there hasn't been a player who has shown themselves to be far and away the most important individual among a very strong team.

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However, looking at his record in European competitions during this season - most of which comes from the Champions League group stage - Lucas Ocampos could be the most likely player to cause West Ham trouble on Thursday evening.

The 27-year-old notched up six goals during the six games he played in before the turn of the year, as well as an assist too, making him the club's top contributor when playing continental matches thus far.

Said Benrahma

As for the side from the English capital, again there were more than a few options, and perhaps the one chosen here isn't who would instantly spring to mind considering other attacking players that have shone this season.

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That said, Said Benrahma is, like his opposition counterpart, his club's most influential attacker in Europe during this season's campaign, making him a potentially crucial part of the Hammers' team against Sevilla.

He managed three goals during the Europa League group stage, and away from that competition has also scored five goals and picked up four assists elsewhere, meaning he could play a big part in this first leg tie.

Previous Meetings

As often happens when two teams from different countries play against one another, there haven't actually ever been any competitive matches between these sides at any point in each of their respective histories.

Therefore, this first leg game provides a potentially huge opportunity to set a marker down for the future, not only ahead of the second leg, but for any other potential games in the future where these clubs may meet again at some point.

How To Watch

For those in the UK who are wanting to watch the game live on TV, it will be broadcast on BT Sport, with all the pre-match coverage getting going from 5:00 PM GMT on BT Sport 3.

As for the game itself, kick off is scheduled to get underway at 5:45 PM GMT, as one of the earlier games of the Europa League fixtures, with the return leg in London a week later.

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