Sevilla v Benfica – Betting Preview & Tips
Sevilla meet Benfica in what promises to be a cracking Europa League Final in Turin. Jaymes Monte previews the big game and gives bis best bets.
Benfica to win @ 5/4
Benfica to win to nil @ 11/4
Sevilla go into this Wednesday’s Europa League final in Turin having failed to win any of their last four matches in all competitions. Most recently they lost at Getafe and drew with Villarreal, having previously lost 3-1 to Valencia in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final; qualifying for the final thanks to a last minute away goal from Stephane Mbia.
It has been a far from straightforward progression to this point by the Spanish club. In the round of 16 they required a penalty shootout to get past Real Betis after losing the first leg 2-0 at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, then in the quarter-finals they were required to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to see off Porto, before the aforementioned dramatic triumph at the Mestalla.
Striker Kevin Gameiro has scored five goals in the Europa League this season and has seven in his last eight matches in all competitions. The Frenchman is the club’s top scorer this season both domestically and in European competition.
Benfica also come into the game on the back of a defeat, only their second of the domestic season. But, having long since secured the title, already claimed the Taca da Liga and with a potential quadruple on the cards the defeat to Porto will be of little concern.
Rodrigo Lima has scored three in his last four games to take his tally for the season to 19. His late winner in the Europa League semi-final first leg against Juventus proving to be the all important strike which allowed the Portuguese to progress after a goalless draw in Turin a week later.
Both managers have been afforded the luxury of resting players ahead of this final, but each will be without suspended players following previous misdemeanours.
Jairo Samperio is unavailable for the Spaniards following an accumulation of yellow cards throughout the tournament, while Denis Cheryshev (foot) and Sebastián Cristóforo (knee) miss out through injury.
Lazar Markovic, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio will all also miss the game through suspension and are joined on the sidelines by Silvio who is out due to injury.
The one and only time that the two sides have met in competitive action came back in the preliminary round of the 1957/58 European Champion Clubs’ Cup. Sevilla won 3-1 in the home leg and then progressed in the competition with a goalless draw in Benfica.
Despite the infamous Guttman Curse – Benfica have lost seven consecutive European finals over the last 50 years since the legendary Bella Guttman uttered the immortal words “’Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever win a European Cup.” – the Portuguese quadruple hunters are deserved favourites at odds of 5/4 to win the match and 4/6 to lift the trophy.
Suspensions to key players are of course a concern but they should still have enough quality to get the job done. Sevilla have been somewhat fortunate to reach the final, whereas Benfica have impressed throughout the tournament.
I also like the look of the 11/4 available on Benfica winning the game without conceding. Jorge Jesus’s side have kept three clean sheets in their last four Europa League matches, and on the run that recently took them to the Portuguese title kept five consecutive clean sheets in the league.