The UEFA Europa League (regarded as the second-best European teams competition) Semi-final stage kicks off today, Thursday, April 28th. The Europa league never ceases to be action packed with lots of goals and excitement in an around the field. The defending champions, Sevilla are still in the race to win the competition once again for the third time in a row.

Matches to look out for in the First Leg of the Europa League Semi-final

Thursday, April 28th.

Villarreal vs Liverpool (@Estadio El Madrigal)

Villarreal welcomes the only English Premier League club in the competition, Liverpool at the Estadio El Madrigal.

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The Spanish side have been the underdogs of this competition and have slowly found their way to the Semi-final. Villareal are unbeaten in 11 UEFA Europa League games. If they find a way to get past Liverpool in this round, it will be their first-ever European Final. They have won all six of their European home games this season.

Liverpool on the other hand, under the tutorship of Jurgen Kloop, was able to eliminate Borussia Dortmund, who were the title favorite with a great comeback but, Kloop has not won in five UEFA competition games played in Spain or against a Spanish team.

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Prediction: A win for Liverpool

Shakhtar vs Sevilla (@Arena Lviv, Lviv)

The Ukrainian club welcomes one of the favorites of this season's competition at the Arena Lviv with Poland referee Szymon Marciniak to be in charge of proceedings. Shakhtar will be coming into this game with a full squad because they have nothing to lose in the league as they comfortably sit behind Dynamo in the Ukrainian League.

Sevilla, having achieved the feat of being the first club to contest in the UEFA Europa League Semi-finals for three seasons running will be looking to become the first team to lift the Europa League trophy for three years in a row by winning this game in Arena Lviv.

Prediction: 2-2 Draw

The return legs of this fixture will be played on Thursday, May 5th, 2016.

Who are your favorites to advance to the finals of the UEFA Europa League?

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