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Sevilla fear ‘magnificent’ Hammers after Europa draw

Sevilla Director of Football Monchi has claimed that the club’s clash with West Ham is the toughest game they could have faced in the Europa League Round of 16.

The two sides were drawn together on Friday when the draw for the next round was made.

Sevilla are going brilliantly in La Liga and are currently second in the Spanish top-flight, and have only lost twice in the league all season.

They overcame Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb to reach this round, winning 3-2 on aggregate, and Monchi is full of admiration for the Hammers, who he believes are having a “magnificent” season.

Indeed, he believes that the two toughest possible draws in the hat were the Hammers and French club Lyon.

Quoted by Diario de Sevilla, Monchi said: “We’ve been drawn against the toughest team.

“The level of the eight teams was important. But there was obviously a scale, and I put at the top Olympique Lyon and West Ham, with Bayer Leverkusen just below them, and possibly we’ve been drawn with the most complicated of them all.

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“(They) are a very well-built team, who are having a magnificent season in the English championship, with players of international stature, who are also very strong technically and physically.

“It’s a good tie, worthy of a competition that is becoming more and more important like the Europa League, and we’ll wait to see what happens in these two games.

“There are games and ties from the recent past, all with big teams because in London they are big teams. It’s a nice experience to play in London, in the cradle of football, which will help us to measure our ability to improve.”

The first leg of the round of 16 clash comes on March 10th in Spain, while the second leg takes place the following week on March 17th in east London.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.