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Seville derby in the Europe League

English.news.cn   2014-03-12 21:58:35

MADRID, March. 12 (Xinhua) -- It's the game that nobody wanted, but at the same time its probably the game that everyone wanted to see as Sevilla and neighbors Betis go head to head for a place in the last 8 of the Europa League.

It will be the first time that Europe has witnessed a derby between the two local rivals, whose rivalry is one of the most intense and at times, the most hostile on the continent.

Sevilla-Betis games tend to produce furious competition on the pitch with tackles flying in from all sides and the form book can usually be thrown out of the window. Meanwhile it is not unusual for incidents to take place between the two sets of fans in the streets outside of the ground.

There has also been incidents within the grounds as well, such as when former Sevilla coach, Juande Ramos was knocked out by a bottle thrown from the stands in Betis' Benito Villamarin Stadium in a Copa del Rey tie in 2007.

Apart from the tension the Seville derby always generates, the game also comes at a key point in the season for both clubs as Sevilla look to secure a place in Europe for next season, while Betis cling on to a slender lifeline offering Primera Lia survival.

The side coached by Humberto Calderon has given signs of improvement in recent games, but are still bottom of the Primera Liga eight points from safety.

The gap between Betis and the side fourth from bottom has closed in recent weeks and a win away to struggling Elche on Sunday would give Betis a fighting chance of pulling off a miracle recovery..

Meanwhile in order to appeal for calm off the pitch, club President Miguel Guillem of Betis and Sevilla's Pepe Castro have made an appeal for calm with Castro saying "we are rivals but not enemies and hope to see the city live a derby with passion and mutual respect."

Meanwhile the players from both sides have made a video in which they all ask "respect for the rival."

Whether this happens remains to be seen, but there is no doubt the derby is the standout tie of the round in Europe.

Valencia are also alive and kicking in the Europa League and Juan Antonio Pizzi's side have an accessible tie with Bulgarian outfit, Ludogorets. Pizzi's main task will be trying to rotate his squad in order to get a good result in Bulgaria, while at the same time trying to retain fresh players for the weekend league game away to Real Sociedad.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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