Sevilla vs AS Roma: Three key players to look out for

The Hard Tackle lists three players who can singlehandedly influence the match between Sevilla and AS Roma at Puskas Arena on Wednesday.

The curtains will fall on the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday night, with two unbeaten records on the line. Sevilla and AS Roma will lock horns at the Puskas Arena, with the former yet to taste a defeat in the Europa League final. Meanwhile, Roma boss Jose Mourinho has yet to manage a losing team in the title decider in Europe.

Sevilla can end a tumultuous 2022/23 season in a memorable fashion. They might finish outside the top half in La Liga while bowing out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stage. But they have shown their European pedigree in the Europa League, clinching close wins against tough opponents like Manchester United and Juventus, among others.

On the other hand, AS Roma will hope to return to the Champions League in the 2023/24 season. But that will not happen through a top-four finish in Serie A, with fourth-placed AC Milan seven points ahead. Meanwhile, the Giallorossi beat Bayer Leverkusen to reach the Europa League final, with the second leg producing a Jose Mourinho masterclass.

With both clubs needing to win Wednesday’s final to qualify for the Champions League, the margin of error is slim to none. And a few players can singlehandedly influence the tie this midweek. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists three such candidates for the Europa League final.

Tammy Abraham

Our list kick-starts with a player who has endured a frustrating 2022/23 season. But after making his mark in Europe for AS Roma last season, he will be the go-to player for Jose Mourinho this midweek. We are talking about Tammy Abraham.

The English international left his homeland to join AS Roma from Chelsea nearly two years ago. And he enjoyed an excellent debut season with the Giallorossi, inspiring them to the UEFA Europa Conference League. But he has been a pale shadow of himself in the ongoing campaign.

Abraham has managed only nine goals and seven assists across all competitions this season. But that has not deterred his suitors, with Chelsea and Manchester United hot on his heels. Apart from the Premier League heavyweights, clubs from outside England are also interested in the 25-year-old.

Meanwhile, the Englishman will be a crucial player for Roma despite his stuttering form. And if he rediscovers his best touch, his movement will give the Sevilla defenders much to worry about on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho will, thus, be out to bring the best out of Abraham on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic

Tammy Abraham’s opposite number will be another pivotal figure in the game on Wednesday. But instead of picking an attacker, we have gone ahead with an experienced midfielder. The player in question is Ivan Rakitic.

The Croat has done well to extend his career since joining Sevilla from Barcelona nearly three years ago. And the veteran midfielder’s second coming at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium has been top-notch. That has been especially true in the Europa League.

The 35-year-old can still control the proceedings seamlessly despite his advancing years. And Rakitic will also be combative in his approach in the middle of the park. Those two qualities can help Sevilla overpower AS Roma in the centre of the pitch. And if that happens, the Andalusian giants will have their fortunes in their own hands on Wednesday.

Paulo Dybala

Our last pick on the list is a player who has reinvented himself and re-established himself as one of the best players in Serie A. He has also won the World Cup during the ongoing campaign, despite not playing a part in Argentina’s triumph. We are, of course, speaking about Paulo Dybala.

The 29-year-old joined AS Roma from Juventus in a Bosman move last summer. And his arrival came along with a barrage of scepticism. But Dybala has proven his naysayers wrong, becoming a vital cog in Jose Mourinho’s squad in the ongoing season. Meanwhile, like Tammy Abraham, he is a hot property in the transfer market.

The World Cup winner has a release clause worth €12 million in his contract, which clubs outside Italy can trigger. Even Serie A sides can land him for a mere €20 million. So it is hardly surprising that clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United are interested in him.

Meanwhile, Dybala will unlikely make the starting lineup on Wednesday. But introducing a fresh Dybala off the bench might be a masterstroke by Mourinho, considering the Sevilla defenders might encounter fatigue deep into the clash. Expect the Argentine international to rise to the occasion, as he often does.

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