Sevilla v Valencia preview

Sevilla defender Federico Fazio has denied his team will start as favourites in their all-Spanish Europa League semi-final tie against Valencia.

League form make Sevilla, UEFA Cup winners in 2006 and 2007, strong contenders to reach the final in a tie they begin on home soil on Thursday.

The Andalusian outfit has won seven of their last eight La Liga games and are fifth in the standings.

Eighth-place Valencia are 14 points adrift of Sevilla and have won just one of their last five league games.

"We know each other well but there are no favourites even if we are higher up in the standings than them," Fazio said to

"This is a different competition to La Liga. We have to think of doing well in both games.

"We are in a Europa League semi-final and we need to manage anxiety and hopefully, we can dominate both legs."

Sevilla, coached by former Valencia tactician Unai Emery, head into the encounter on the back of last weekend's 4-0 home triumph over Granada.

That win followed their 2-0 derby triumph at Real Betis and moved them just three points adrift of Athletic Bilbao, who are fourth and hold last Champions League qualifying spot with four games remaining.

"It's true that we are going through a beautiful spell," Fazio said. "We have worked very hard to be where we are right now.

"I don't (know) what Valencia feels but we are certainly very confident and we are showing a lot of intensity in every game."

Sevilla have lost just one game at home in European competition this season and beat FC Porto 4-1 in Seville in the previous round to progress to the last four.

Valencia will be keen to remind Sevilla they have yet to lose against them this season.

Los Che beat Sevilla 3-1 at the Mestalla stadium before holding Emery's side to a goalless draw in Seville.

Moreover, lifting the Europa League trophy for the first time since 2004 remains Valencia's only hope of playing in next season's Champions League.

"We are fully focused on Thursday's game," Valencia winger Eduardo Vargas said. "We are looking forward to the game and eager to bring home a positive result.

"We don't want to make the same mistake we made in Switzerland and we must be focused from start to finish."

Valencia complicated their lives when they fell 3-0 at Basel in the previous round.

However, Los Che made history by winning their return leg 5-0 at home to progress to the semi-final stages.

Valencia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is expected to field the same starting line-up that held Osasuna to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Paco Alcacer, who scored a hat-trick against Basel, will lead the visitors in attack.