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Sevilla can beat Porto, says Rodriguez
Mar 21, 2014 3:18 PM EST
Sevilla can spring a surprise and beat Porto in the last eight of the UEFA Europa League, according to sporting director Ramon Rodriguez.
Unai Emery's men qualified for the quarter-finals in dramatic fashion, beating city rivals Real Betis 4-3 on penalties after fighting back to level the two-legged tie at 2-2 on aggregate at Estadio Benito Villamarin.
However, the Liga outfit now face arguably one of the best sides remaining in the competition in a tie that will pit a pair of two-time winners of Europe's secondary club competition against each other.
Sevilla travel to Porto for the first leg on April 3, before hosting the return game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a week later.
Porto beat Sevilla in the round of 32 on their way to the title in 2011, and Rodriguez is hopeful that the Spanish side can avenge that defeat.
"Porto and Juventus were the most difficult teams (in the draw)," Rodriguez said. "The away trip will be a short one and we will be well supported by our fans there.
"Porto knocked us out en route to winning the trophy (in 2011) so time has presented us with this chance for revenge.
"This is not the best Porto side of recent years, in their domestic league or in this season's Champions League.
"Having said that, they have a great squad with players like Jackson Martinez, Joaquin Quintero and Ricardo Quaresma.
"They also have a lot of European experience. We have to think that we can get through, however.
"I think that at home, and with our supporters behind us, we are a strong team and this is a competition that has given us plenty of success.
"We weren't capable of beating Betis at home, though, so playing the return at our stadium may not necessarily be a defining characteristic of the tie."