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European Football Fernando Torres - Chelsea

Published on May 14th, 2013 | by Sportingly Better Tipster

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Europa League Final 2013 – Betting Preview

Chelsea will be bidding to become only the second side ever to win the Champions League and Europa League trophies in consecutive years, as the Blues go into Wednesday’s final as the favourites to lift the crown.

Sportingly Better picks out the best football predictions for the Europa League final in Amsterdam as Benfica play Chelsea.

Europa League Final Predictions

Benfica (3.20) v Chelsea (2.40); Draw (3.40)

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping to end the season on a high by lifting the Europa League trophy on Wednesday, after the Blues all but secured their participation in the UEFA Champions League next year.

Chelsea have doubts over John Terry and Eden Hazard going into the match, with both players having been withdrawn during Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Victor Moses is the man most likely to replace Hazard, whilst David Luiz‘s selection in midfield could see Gary Cahill replace John Terry at the back should the former England captain fail to recover in time.

Striker Demba Ba remains ineligible in the competition after featuring for Newcastle earlier in the season, so Fernando Torres will again lead the line for Chelsea in the Europa League.

Chelsea Probable XI

Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Oscar, Mata, Moses, Torres

The Blues overcame Sparta Prague, Steaua Bucharest, Rubin Kazan and Basel to reach Wednesday’s final and the Premier League side have steadily grown into the competition, after beating semi-finalists Basel both home and away in the last round.

Chelsea remain in good form going into the match after winning six of their last eight matches in all competitions and the Blues attacking talents appear to be finally flourishing, with the Premier League side having scored 17 goals in their last eight matches in all competitions.

Chelsea have scored at least two goals in each of their last five matches in the Europa League. Back Chelsea to score over 1.5 goals at 2.37.

Opponents Benfica suffered an almost fatal blow to their hopes of winning the Liga Sagres title last weekend, after a 2-1 defeat against Porto.

The Aguias have been largely impressive in the Europa League this year losing just once in their last eight matches, but coach Jorge Jesus will need to use the league defeat against Porto to galvanise his side on Wednesday or suffer demoralisation on Europe’s second biggest stage.

Maxi Pereira is Benfica’s only absentee for the final after being ruled out through suspension, so Andre Almeida should come in at right back.

Jesus will again stick with Oscar Cardozo in attack, with the Paraguayan striker having scored five goals in his last five Europa League appearances for the club, whilst forward Eduardo Salvio has plenty of Europa League experience after lifting the trophy twice with Atletico Madrid.

Benfica Probable XI

Artur, Almeida, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo, Perez, Matic, Gaitan, Lima, Salvio, Cardozo

Benfica will be playing in their ninth European final on Wednesday, but the anguish of losing a late winner to Porto last weekend may be difficult for their players to shake off.

Chelsea beat Benfica both home and away in the Champions League quarter finals last year and the Blues’ attacking talents make Chelsea the most likely side to lift the Europa League trophy on Wednesday.

Recommended Bets
Chelsea to win @2.40
Both teams to score (Benfica v Chelsea) @1.80

Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wshjackson/

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