Published on May 14th, 2014 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
Europa League Final 2014 – Betting Preview
Benfica will be hoping to take one step closer to an unprecedented quadruple, with Jorge Jesus’ side clear favourites to lift the trophy at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday.
Europa League Final Predictions
Sevilla (3.30) v Benfica (2.37); Draw (3.30)
Benfica will be looking to put last year’s Europa League final defeat behind them, as the impressive Portuguese outfit look to lift their third trophy of the campaign.
Last year the Eagles suffered heartache finishing second in the Taca de Portugal, Primeira Liga and Europa League, but that unwanted “runners up treble” has served for motivation this time term as Jorge Jesus’ side appear far more composed this time around.
The “Curse of Bela Guttman” still clouds over the Aguias, with Benfica having lost each of their last seven European finals since the Hungarian manager was forced out of the door in 1962, but that hex is primed to be ended with the Portuguese side composed and impressive at the back in this year’s competition.
Benfica are undefeated in their last eight matches in the Europa League and odds of 1.36 on the Eagles to avoid defeat in 90 minutes may tempt some backers.
Benfica Probable XI
Oblak, Pereria, Garay, Luisao, Siqueira, Sulejmani, Amorim, Gomes, Gaitan, Rodrigo, Lima
Jorge Jesus however will have to contend with suspensions to Enzo Perez, Eduardo Salvio and Lazar Markovic, but the centre-back partnership of Ezequiel Garay and Luisao remains in place; with Benfica having conceded just four goals in eight games since dropping down from the Champions League.
Opponents Sevilla are looking to win the Europa League for the third time in eight years, but Unai Emery’s side were fortunate to make tonight’s final thanks to an injury-time goal from Stephane Mbia.
The Spanish side carry a 100% record in European finals after winning back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007, but defeats to Real Betis, Porto and Valencia during this season’s Europa League campaign leave the club far from unbeatable.
Sevilla’s Europa League top scorer Kevin Gameiro is struggling to be fit with a knee injury, but should the French forward be available to Unai Emery then expect the betting odds on the underdogs to shorten closer to kick-off, with Carlos Bacca slightly out of form.
Sevilla Probable XI
Beto, Navarro, Pareja, Fazio, Coke, Carrico, Mbia, Vitolo, Rakitic, Reyes, Bacca
Sevilla have kept just three clean sheets in nine Europa League games away from home this season, with the danger from set-pieces likely to hinder the side of Wednesday with Luisao and Garay both capable in the air.
An unprecedented quadruple remains the goal for Jorge Jesus and Benfica this term and the Portuguese outfit remain well-backed to end Guttman’s 100-year curse in the Europa League final tonight.
Benfica to win @2.20
Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivan_Rakitic.jpg