Europa League Final Tips & Predictions: 21st Aug
I’ve covered the Europa League and Champions League all the way through from the Group Stages last year, right the way through to the semi-finals so having something for the final felt like an absolute must.
So with that in mind, I decided to put together some extended analysis on both final matches this weekend, with this article focusing on the Europa League Final, which will be played in Cologne on Friday night between Sevilla and Inter Milan.
I will then follow this up with a similar preview for the two teams that contest the Champions League final in Lisbon on Sunday evening.
Friday’s game looks like being a cracker, with Sevilla coming through their semifinal against Manchester United on the back of some dogged defending, superb goalkeeping and then having the ability to take the one chance they created in the second half, while United squandered all of theirs.
In contrast, Inter Milan strolled through their semifinal with Shakhtar Donetsk, a game which turned with Donetsk missing a simple opportunity in the second half with the score at 1-0, after which Inter scored their second soon after, which led to a Donetsk collapse of epic proportions and a comfortable 5-0 win for the Italians in the end.
Let’s preview the game now with a little extended analysis and a couple of extra tips to consider for the game itself on Friday night.
Europa League Final Tips: Sevilla v Inter Milan
Both these teams came through a one-legged Round of 16 tie, before embarking on similar wins in the quarterfinal and semifinals to reach the final, so they are well-versed in these one-legged ties.
Of the two teams, I have to be honest and say that as well as Sevilla have played, notably defensively, I do think they have been a little fortunate at times. Wolves missed a penalty, while Man Utd missed several great chances to score in their game and I do feel the Spaniards have ridden their luck, as well as their ability to counter attack, a little to reach this far.
For me, Inter have been the stronger of the two performers and their wins over Shakhtar Donetsk in the semifinals and also over Bayer Leverkusen were particularly impressive. With Romelu Lukaku having scored in all of his last 10 Europa League matches, and the Italians on a great run of form, I do feel that they have the slight advantage here.
Plus, I feel that Lukaku and Martinez, along with Alexis Sanchez on the bench, will not be quite so profligate in front of goal as some of Man Utd and Wolves players have been in the last couple of games against Sevilla. The Spanish side are great Europa League contenders, but I think they will be hard pushed to make it six wins from six against this Inter side.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.