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Sunday 19 August 2018

Sevilla boss jokes over killing Sanchez in order to stop him

Ready for battle: Alexis Sanchez in training yesterday
Ready for battle: Alexis Sanchez in training yesterday

Sevilla may have to "kill" Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez to make it out of the Champions League last-16 for the first time, according to head coach Vincenzo Montella.

The Red Devils have made this knockout stage of European football's top competition for the first time since 2014, while the Andalusian club met Leicester at this juncture last year.

Sevilla were knocked out by the Foxes and are now hoping to make it to the Champions League quarter-finals at the fourth time of asking - and Montella joked extreme measures may be needed.

Tough

As well as hoping Paul Pogba is not well enough to play, the Italian suggested January signing Sanchez could be in for a very tough evening.

"I remember him really well from his stay in Italy," Sevilla coach Montella said of the former Udinese, Barcelona and Arsenal forward.

"He has improved his style a lot during his career and I think he can be a really good player in transition. I think they have really good speed in attack.

"Well, maybe we can kill him or knock him down or something!"

Tonight's clash will only be Montella's second match coaching in the Champions League, with predecessor Eduardo Berizzo having led Sevilla to second place in Group E.

The former Argentina defender oversaw draws home and away to Liverpool before his controversial sacking in December, just a week after surgery to treat prostate cancer.

Montella has taken Sevilla to the Copa del Rey final since being parachuted into the hot seat and is now looking forward to pitting his wits against "pioneer" Mourinho.

"I am really happy with the performance of my team," the former AC Milan boss said.

"We have an excellent run of victories, although we can still have room for improvement.

"Mourinho was a pioneer when it comes to tactics in football.

"I have read many books and I think Mourinho is quite a good rival."

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