UEFA Europa League 2016/17: Ranking the semi-finalists

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - MAY 18:  Captian Jose Antonio Reyes (C) of Sevilla lifts the Europa League trophy as players celebrate at the award ceremoy after the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Spanish side Sevilla won the Europa League in 2016.
Modified 25 Apr 2017
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The UEFA Europa League 2016/17 is nearing its conclusion and the winner is just two steps away from lifting the trophy and clinching a spot in the UEFA Champions League next season.

The draw threw up two interesting fixtures in the form of Celta Vigo facing Manchester United, while Ajax and Lyon are set to clash in the other semi-final. This draw came right on the heels of the Champions League draw that led to the Madrid derby between Real and Atletico Madrid, while Juventus were pitted against AS Monaco.

Also Read: UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Ranking the semi-finalists

Each of the Europa League semi-finalists come from a different country and have coursed various paths to reach the final four. However, some of the teams have a better chance of winning the trophy than the others. This will be the first time in 4 years that there will be a new winner as Sevilla won it in the last three years.

So, here is the ranking of the semi-finalists based on their chances to win the Europa League.

#4 Celta Vigo

VIGO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 02:  Iago Aspas of RC Celta de Vigo reacts during the match against FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between Real Club Celta de Vigo and Futbol Club Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium on October 02, 2016 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Iago Aspas is crucial for Celta Vigo’s hopes in the Europa League

The Spanish representation in the competition, Celta Vigo, are one of the three teams in the semi-finals of the Europa League for the first time. Os Celestes are currently languishing in 10th place in the La Liga table after 32 games and winning the Europa League is their best route to European football next season.

They finished runners-up in their group consisting of Dutch club Ajax, Belgian side Standard Liege and Greek outfit Panathinaikos. In the knockout stages, they beat Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Krasnodar from Russia and Belgian representative Genk to reach the final four.

Also Read: 5 Liverpool rejects who are having a great 2016-17 season

However, they have an illustrious and tough opponent in Manchester United and Os Celestes will have to step up their game if they have to progress. In order to win the trophy, they will need their defensive duo of Gustavo Cabral and Hugo Mallo to keep it tight at the back, and Liverpool flop Iago Aspas to continue his fine scoring form, which has seen him score 24 goals this season so far, only behind Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez on the scoring charts.

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Published 25 Apr 2017
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