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Jonas eyes another comeback

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30 Apr 2014 11:31:55

Jonas eyes another comeback

Valencia striker Jonas believes his side can continue to defy the odds by overturning a first-leg deficit against Sevilla to reach the Europa League final.

Last week's 2-0 victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium has put Sevilla, UEFA Cup winners in 2006 and 2007, in command of the all-Spanish semi- final.

Valencia made history in the competition in the previous round by becoming the first team to overturn a 3-0 deficit, claiming a 5-0 home victory against Basle , and Jonas is targeting a place in the final in Turin ahead of Thursday's match.

"We know that Sevilla have an advantage," Jonas said on www.valenciacf.es. "But we are playing at home and the atmosphere at the Mestalla stadium is going to be fantastic.

"We are really motivated to reach the final and we will give everything until the last minute to overturn the tie.

"To reach the final in Turin would be very important for us, for the club and for our fans."

Lifting the Europa League trophy remains Valencia's main objective. They are eighth in the Primera Division and out of contention for the European qualifying spots.

Valencia's task will be all the more difficult after the club saw their appeal against striker Paco Alcacer's one-match ban rejected.

Alcacer, who had scored a hat-trick against Basle to fire Valencia into the semi-finals, was booked in the first leg and will miss the encounter through yellow cards accumulation.

Valencia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi will also be without midfielder Oriol Romeu, who sustained a muscular problem during Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Spanish league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Sevilla, coached by former Valencia tactician Unai Emery, head into the contest on the back of Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Athletic Bilbao.

The loss halted their three-match winning run in the league and left them fifth in the standings, nine points clear of Valencia.

Emery was unimpressed with his team's performance and expects a drastic improvement on Thursday.

"This defeat should be a lesson for us that what we did wrong against Athletic we must do right against Valencia," he said.

"We face a very difficult game and we all need to row in the same direction if we are to reach the final."

Emery has reason to be wary, for his side lost 3-1 in Valencia earlier this campaign.

The visitors are hoping to be able to call on central defender Carrico, who is doubtful with an ankle injury.


PA

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