Sevilla favourites tag motivation for Fiorentina - Montella

Being underdogs in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals is a source of motivation for Fiorentina, according to coach Vincenzo Montella.

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella believes UEFA Europa League semi-final opponents Sevilla's favourites tag can aid his team's bid to make it through the tie.

Sevilla are the defending champions of the competition, and are currently just three points off the UEFA Champions League places in La Liga, as the Spanish outfit prepare to host Fiorentina in Thursday's opening leg at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, have lost two of their past three Serie A matches to be 11 points outside of the Champions League spots.

And Montella told reporters: "For Sevilla to be considered favourite is more of a motivation for us than anything else.

"Either way those are just opinions, if you had asked me about the match last night [Tuesday] I wouldn't have said that Juventus would have lost [to Real Madrid in Champion League]."

Thursday's first leg marks the first time Fiorentina will contest a European semi-final since the Italian club reached the 1989-90 UEFA Cup final, which they eventually lost to rivals Juventus.

It is relatively new territory for Montella and his team but the Italian boss is not daunted by the task.

"It's strange for us to get to this stage but we are very happy to be able to play a semi-final," he said.

"There's no use getting to the semi-final if you don't really want to play the final and that is our main objective.

"To get to semis you have to have played well at home or away, the first match is important but not decisive unless there's a big goal difference."

Montella added: "We adapt to the different rivals and Sevilla is a complete team that knows how to play different types of football like playing set pieces and counter attacks. 

"Sevilla is team that in recent years has done very well in this competition. Tomorrow is a great match for us and a beautiful match for the fans."