Sevilla vs Zenit
Sevilla will be hoping to beat Zenit Saint Petersburg in the first leg at home and get an advantage in the quarter-finals of the Europa LeagueReuters

Europa League defending champions Sevilla take on Zenit Saint Petersburg in the first leg quarter-finals of the competition at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium on Thursday.

The Sevillistas have been playing very well of late, having recorded eight wins and two draws in their last 10 fixtures in all competitions.

Their fine run of form has seen them climb to the fifth position in the La Liga, and they are now only three points behind the fourth placed Valencia.

With seven more games left to play in the La Liga, Sevilla have a very good chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

However, they will currently be focusing on the Europa League, which they managed to lift last season after beating Benfica in the final.

Although the Sevillistas were able to record a comfortable 5-2 (aggregate) win over their La Liga rivals Villarreal the last round, they will be a little wary against Russian giants Zenit Saint Petersburg.

And Sevilla boss Unai Emery admits that Andre Villas-Boas' side will be a tough opponent on Thursday despite them missing a number of key players.

"Zenit have important players missing but they are a great team. They are top of the Russian league, they have international experience, and they have won this competition," Emery told UEFA's official website.

"Zenit have Champions League experience, and they have come through difficult ties against PSV and Torino."

Despite feeling that this game will be an "open tie", the 43-year-old insists that his side are looking to win the first leg.

"This is an open tie. Playing at home, our goal is to win and not to concede. It will be difficult to decide the tie in the first leg. We have to be mentally ready to compete for 180 minutes. Zenit know how to play at home and away," he said.

Meanwhile, Zenit will also be hoping to do well in this fixture even though they are the slight underdogs against the defending Europa League champions.

The Zenitchiki have also been doing well this season especially in the Russian League, where they are currently eight points clear at the top of the table.

They were a little shaky in the last round of the Europa League against Serie A side Torino, whom they just narrowly beat on a 2-1 aggregate.

Although Zenit coach Villas-Boas admits that Sevilla will be an even tougher opponent due to his side having a number of suspended players, he insists that they will be trying their best to beat Sevilla on Thursday.

"We have a host of suspended players and Sevilla are almost unbeatable at home," the former Tottenham boss told UEFA's official website. "It will be a very difficult match for us but we want to continue in this competition. We will try to get a good result."

Possible line-ups

Sevilla: Sergio Rico; Coke, Pareja, Carriço, Trémoulinas; Krychowiak, Banega; Aleix Vidal, Iborra, Vitolo; Bacca.
Zenit: Lodygin; Anyukov, Neto, Garay, Lombaerts; Ryazantsev, Tymoshchuk, Javi García, Witsel, Shatov; Rondon.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 9:05pm local time (12:35am IST, 8:05pm BST, 3:05pm EDT) start, with live coverage on Ten Sports in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online on Ten Sports Live.

The US viewers can watch the game live on Fox Sports 2 and ESPN Deportes or online on Fox Soccer 2Go. The audience in Canada can watch via live stream on Sportsnet World.

Viewers in Spain can watch the match live on Gol 2 Internacional, while Russian viewers can do the same on NTV Russia.

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