Jorge Jesus' team have been in fine form all season along and Al Hain-Cole expects the Portuguese to end their Europeean hoodoo in Turin
Having already lifted both the Primeira Liga and Taca da Liga and with a place in Saturday’s Portuguese cup final already secured, Jorge Jesus’ men are 6/5 (2.20) favourites with bet365 to remain on track for a clean sweep with victory in Turin.
Meanwhile, Los Rojiblancos scraped into the final thanks to a last-minute away goal against Valencia and are available at 9/4 (3.25) to reclaim a trophy they last won in two consecutive seasons between 2006 and 2007.
Their more recent of those two triumphes was won on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Espanyol in normal time, and you can get odds of 23/10 (3.30) on this one also finishing all square after 90 minutes.
Aside from adding silverware to their already impressive haul for the campaign, this match offers the Aguias an opportunity to end the so-called ‘curse of Bela Guttman', which has haunted the club ever since their Hungarian coach’s acrimonious departure back in 1962.
Having lifted two consecutive European Cups in his two years at the helm, Guttman promised the club would never win another piece of continental silverware after being forced out the door - a threat that has held true with seven defeats in seven finals since.
However, while many fans will once again anxiously be placing flowers on the great man’s grave hoping to lift the curse, their side will require little in the way of miracles to come out on top this time out.
Jesus’ side have been quite simply the best team in the competition since dropping down from the Champions League, winning six and drawing two of eight ties while scoring 14 and conceding just four.
Last season’s beaten finalists were particularly impressive in seeing off the favourites Juventus with a resilient performance over two legs in the semi-final, and should have more than enough to overcome a team that have only won half of their games since the group stages began.
Europa League defeats to Real Betis, Porto and Valencia this season do not bode well for Unai Emery’s men, nor does their record of three losses and one draw in the four previous matches coming into the final.
All things considered, those 6/5 (2.20) odds look too good to miss on Benfica continuing a remarkable season with a long-awaited European trophy in Turin.
|Benfica to win for a 1.5pt stake at 6/5 (2.20) with bet365
New bet365 customers can claim a first deposit bonus of up to £200
Al Hain-Cole is an 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.