Europa League final 2013 odds
Europa League final 2013
For the past several years, Europa league is no longer considered a competition, which smaller clubs use to gain European glory. Europa league now consist of strong European teams that had great results even in the Champions league. Even the upcoming Europa league final will feature some the title defender from last year’s Champions league. Chelsea will seek to win its first Europa league/UEFA cup trophy in the final against Benfica. It is an interesting fact that both Benfica and Chelsea gained access to the Europa league through third-place finish in the Champions league season. The final will be played on May 15th at Amsterdam Arena.
Chelsea is having a very turbulent season and the relationship between the players, supporters and the club management was much in focus this season. The club officials sacked Roberto die Matteo earlier in the season, despite his Champions league success and appointed former Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez. It took a long time for the players to approve him as manager so Chelsea played good only in second half of the season. After being eliminated from the Champions league, Chelsea entered the Europa league competition with the tie against Sparta Prague. Over the next rounds they had no problems with Steaua, Rubin and Basel and comfortably entered the final. It will be their first attempt to win this trophy and a unique chance to become one of the very few clubs that won both European trophies in back to back season. There is no doubt that Chelsea is the clear favorite in this game and their record with Portuguese teams is really good. Chelsea’s offensive line can be considered among the strongest in the world and with Rafael Benitez in charge I can’t see this game going to opposite direction.
Just like Chelsea, Benfica also entered Europa league via the Champions league, finishing third in a group against Barcelona, Celtic and Spartak Moscow. Their road to the final was relatively difficult and Benfice eliminated some great teams like Bayer Leverkusen, Newcastle and Fenerbahce. Under Jorge Jesus, Benfica plays a very attractive football and are enjoying a very successful season, both in domestic and European competition. It has been a while since Benfica featured in a European final and it might be their first chance to win a European trophy since 1961. It is interesting, that a legend revolves around Benfica, as their former manager Bella Guttman said that they won’t win another European trophy in another 100 years. There has been few finals, but no trophy. Despite this interesting fact, Benfica are not without a chance for this game. Their striker Oscar Cardozo is in top form this season and with 6 goals he is the leading goalscorer in the Europa league for the season. Benfica might have a weaker squad, but entering this game as slight underdogs might be a plus for them.
Chelsea are very successful against Portuguese teams, most notably against Porto, but they played Benfica only on one occasion before. That happened in the Champions league season 2011/2012 in the quarterfinals, as they eliminated Benfica 3-1 on aggregate, winning the both ties. Since then not much has changed, so it will be interesting whether Benfica can reflect on this defeat and put a different tactic against the Blues.
Europa league is the only remaining competition where Chelsea is competitive as they have already exit all English cups and the title race is over in England. This might be their game to save the season, while Benfica will most likely take the league, but this trophy could also refresh their title room. The final is scheduled on May 15th and we can really look forward to the tie.
Who wins the Europa League final 2013?