Sevilla will need a “perfect” performance to overcome Liverpool and win a third successive Europa League title, according to coach Unai Emery.
The Liga side are in familiar territory, having won the competition four times, starting with their maiden triumph in its previous guise of the UEFA Cup in 2005-06.
Emery’s men would make history if they continue their sequence of success at Basle’s St Jakob-Park on the back of 2014’s penalty shootout win over Benfica and last year’s thrilling 3-2 victory against outsiders Dnipro.
Liverpool boast considerable European pedigree as a club and enter the final in prime form, having dispatched tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund before a convincing semi-final showing to account for Villarreal.
“To beat Liverpool, we need to be perfect,” Emery said.
“When Sevilla are focused we do not fail.
“Liverpool are among the 10 best teams in the world. They are pure football, real football, they have a great history – they have won five European Cups, won the UEFA Cup and leagues in England.
“The team has changed a little bit with a new coach but it is a team with great players. It is a happy team.
“I think the tie is at 50 per cent. Half for them because of their history and a good moment beating really important teams in Europe.
“And the other 50 percent for us because we are the current champions and we will fight to keep the title.”
Emery and Klopp both cut animated figures on the touchline and the Sevilla boss revealed the two men have jokingly discussed a potential touchline clash during Wednesday’s fixture.
“I spoke to Klopp and asked if we were going to fight – and then we were shadow boxing,” Emery added.
“He punched me and I returned it stronger. He is stronger and taller than me, maybe prettier as well.
“We will fight tomorrow at the pitch but I guess everyone will enjoy a great day in the stands.”