After a delay of almost three months, the 2019-20 Europa League will draw to a conclusion with a winner-takes-all showdown between Inter Milan and Sevilla at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne. Though the Italian side are considered huge favourites, they will be up against Sevilla who've won the competition on a record five occasions.
Antonio Conte's men made quick work of Getafe (2-0), Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) and Shakhtar Donetsk (5-0) since the competition resumed while Sevilla overcame Roma (3-0), Wolves (1-0) and Manchester United (2-1) to make it to the 2019-20 Europa League final.
In-form forward Romelu Lukaku will be the key player for the Nerazzuri while it is expected that the dynamic full-back duo of Sergio Reguilon and Jesus Navas will again provide Los Palanganas with the sparks in the final game of the 2019-20 season.
The players and coaches of both teams have worked hard the entire season, and it will all come down to how each team handle the pressure in the final game of the competition.
Both the sides are packed with talented players brimming with confidence after a long season. On that note, we take a look at five key battles that may determine who takes home the 2019-20 Europa League trophy on Friday night.
Inter Milan vs Sevilla Europa League final: 5 key player battles
#5: Ashley Young (Inter Milan) vs Jesus Navas (Sevilla)
Jesus Navas has had an amazing season with Sevilla this term and was crucial in creating a lot of their chances in the final third. He completed most crosses into the box for a defender in LaLiga, and in the previous fixture, he provided the assist for Luuk de Jong's 78th-minute winner.
'Mr. Sevilla' has won the 2005-06 and 2006-07 editions of the UEFA Cup as a young prodigy with Sevilla. Now in his third European final for the club, Navas will face a familiar opponent in Ashley Young.
Young and Navas played for Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League respectively as wingers. But in their meeting on Friday, the duo will be taking up more defensive roles, with Navas at right-back and Young expected to be deployed as a wing-back on the left for Inter Milan.
Ashley Young has put in some scintillating displays since the resumption of football and will provide a sizeable challenge for Navas.
#4: Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan) vs Ever Banega (Sevilla)
Ever Banega will be looking ahead to a reunion with some of his former teammates when Sevilla take on Inter Milan. The Argentian midfielder has been highly industrious in the middle of the park for the Andalusians and has set up three goals for them in this season's competition.
Banega enjoyed the most prolific season of his career with Inter Milan in 2016-17 campaign, scoring six goals in the league. Though he has not been as active in front of goal since returning to Sevilla, he has assumed the role of a versatile midfielder.
The task of keeping Banega in check will invariably fall on Marcelo Brozovic, the deep-lying midfielder general of Inter Milan. Brozovic has posted impressive pass-completion stats for the last few seasons. His defensive contributions allow the wing-backs to move forward and put pressure on the opposition defence.
Brozovic will have to be at his defensive best against a team like Sevilla who like to play the ball through the centre.