Benfica-Chelsea Betting Preview: Expect two free-scoring sides to provide a memorable Europa League final

Having tipped Jorge Jesus' men to lift the trophy at 4/1 before the quarter-final stage, our punter expects them to enjoy a free-flowing game against another prolific team
After all but securing a top-four finish, Rafa Benitez has the chance to end his acrimonious spell as Chelsea’s interim manager with some silverware when his side take on Benfica in tonight’s Europa League final.

The Blues are favourites at 7/5 (2.40) with Bet365 to become the first team in history to follow Champions League success by collecting Europe’s other major trophy.

Their opponents fell to a first domestic defeat of the season against Porto at the weekend, allowing their arch-rivals to leapfrog them at the top of the Portuguese league in the process, so will be desperate to bounce back with victory this evening, at odds of 11/5 (3.20).

Six of the last 13 Europa League finals have gone into extra-time, and you can get odds of 12/5 (3.40) on this one finishing all square after 90 minutes.

While this competition may not attract the viewing figures of the more glamorous Champions League, it has certainly provided some memorable finals in recent years, and this season promises to be no exception.

This game brings together two of Europe’s most free-scoring sides, as Chelsea have averaged around two goals a game in England, while Benfica have hit over 2.5 per match in Portugal.

Having only failed to score twice in 16 games between them in this competition, the finalists can be expected to ensure plenty of goalmouth action, and odd of 4/5 (1.80) are too good to miss on both sides hitting he back of the net.

This bet would have paid out in nine of the pair’s last 10 combined Europa League ties, and 11 out of 16 since they both dropped down from the Champions League.

Despite having only entered the competition at the first knock-out stage, Oscar Cardozo is the competition’s joint-third top scorer, with six goals in eight games for the Aguias.

The rangy Paraguayan striker has scored in six of his team’s last 10 games against English opposition and Benitez’s men will have to be just as wary of his unerring set-piece ability as his threat from open play in order to keep him off the score sheet this evening.

With 31 goals in 42 games for Jorge Jesus’ side this season, Cardozo offers exceptional value at 11/5 (3.20) to hit the back of the net in Amsterdam.

Have a pre-match Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast bet on ANY Soccer match and if the game finishes 0-0 bet365 will refund all losing bets on these markets!

Both teams to score at 4/5 (1.80) with bet365
Oscar Cardozo to score anytime at 11/5 (3.20) with bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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