Sampaoli wants quarter-final spot as Sevilla birthday present
Jorge Sampooli has asked Sevilla to give him a Champions League quarter-final spot as he celebrates his 57th birthday with a trip to Leicester City.
The Argentine has led Sevilla into a title challenge in LaLiga this season, where a triumph could match the Foxes' own league win of last season for surprise.
Sevilla won 2-1 in the first leg of the last-16 tie, but they ought to have been out of sight before Jamie Vardy pulled a goal back late at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
That defeat for Leicester prompted Claudio Ranieri's sacking and they have since beaten Liverpool and Hull City 3-1 under Craig Shakespeare, with Sampaoli, 57 on Monday, wary of improving opposition.
Sampaoli said: "The greatest gift is to be among the best eight teams in the world. It's an historic opportunity for everyone.
Today our manager, Jorge Sampaoli, celebrates his birthday Happy birthday! pic.twitter.com/quAIVI7Pv5— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 13, 2017
PRESS CONFERENCE | Sampaoli, on his birthday: "The best present would be to be one of the eight best teams in the world tomorrow." pic.twitter.com/NyWv6ZFUpj— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 13, 2017
"The Leicester that played at the Sanchez Pizjuan was a different one emotionally and in footballing terms.
"But they showed with their performances against Liverpool and Hull, they are trying to prove that they are the Leicester that won the Premier League."
If Leicester can repeat the scoreline they have earned in their last two games at the King Power Stadium, they will advance to the last eight, but Adil Rami says Sevilla intend to put their hosts on the back foot.
Rami admitted: "It was a very important goal by Vardy. It has made it a little bit more tricky for us.
"But we are an offensive side and we always go out to score and it will be our intention to go out to try and score our away goal."