Dnipro v Sevilla – Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw at 19:45 live on ITV4
Sevilla have the chance of creating history tomorrow night and become the first team to win the Europa League for the fourth time. Unai Emery is looking for back to back European titles and their fourth UEL trophy in 9 years. Standing in their way will be surprise finalists, Ukrainian outfit Dnipro who shouldn’t be underestimated despite being big underdogs. In what should be a great appetiser for the Champions League final, it’s a another opportunity for Asian Handicap betting punters to take advantage of some value.
European novices Dnipro, go into what is a defining match for their club, having claimed some high profile scalps on their way to the final after a slow start to the campaign. They reached the last 32 after finishing 2nd in Group F behind Inter Milan, registering just 2 wins and a total of 7 points but have kicked on during the knockout stages.
They shocked many people by beating fancied Olympiacos 4-2 on aggregate before defeating Ajax on away goals, after the Dutch side dropped out of the Champions League. A tight Quarter Final against Club Brugge came next and Dnipro’s strong defence helped them through after taking the tie 1-0 on aggregate. Then came arguably the surprise of the tournament, when the Ukrainian’s knocked out hot favourties Napoli, earning a draw in Italy before beating Partenopei on home soil to make their first European final.
The Warriors of Light solidity at the back has been a big reason why they have got to where they are, conceding just 5 times in their 8 knockout matches and not losing in their last 4 away games in Europe.
They have enjoyed a decent season domestically, currently sitting 3rd in the Ukrainian league just 2 points behind Shakhtar Donetsk in 2nd place with one match to go. They still have a chance of making the UCL preliminaries by finishing 2nd but will hope they can earn an automatic spot by picking up the trophy tomorrow night.
Sevilla in stark contrast to Dnipro have a lot of experience in Europe and the Europa League in particular. This is their 4th final in the last decade, winning the previous 3 including last years win on penalties over Benfica.
The Andalusian’s have won more games in this years competition than any other team, winning 10 of their 14 matches and losing just once. They finished second in their group to Feyenoord on 11 points and have comfortably come through each knockout tie, winning 7 of 8.
Monchengladbach and Villarreal were beaten home and away in the last 32 and 16 respectively. Zenit held them to a draw in Saint Petersburg after Los Rojiblancos earned a tough victory at home to take the tie 3-2 and set up a mouthwatering Semi Final against Italian’s Fiorentina. La Viola were no match for Unai Emery’s attacking side though with the Spanish side taking the tie 5-0 on aggregate to set up a final against Dnipro.
Sevilla completed their La Liga season with a win away to Malaga on Saturday but it wasn’t enough to secure a top 4 place after Valencia came from a goal down at Almeria to finish a point above the Andalusian’s.
Emery has told his side to have no fear and embrace tomorrow nights final which could not only see them create history but also book a place in next seasons UCL group stages, no more motivation is necessary.
Although Dnipro’s defence is strong, on current form you have to fancy Sevilla to score, I actually fancy them to score more than one.
Dnipro started their European campaign in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and have played 18 matches compared to Sevilla’s 14. They also have a league game to think about on Saturday which will be extremely important if they don’t pick up the trophy. I don’t see them putting all their eggs into one basket tomorrow night.
Sevilla have only lost once in 21 matches in all competitions, a impressive feat when playing in the Europa League.
I expect the match to be tight early on but once Sevilla have settled, they will enjoy more of the ball and create more chances. Sevilla should take the lead and force Dnipro to change their tactics and be force to attack, this should open up the game and be more suited to the Spanish side.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Sevilla -1 @ 2.11
Prices correct at time of writing.
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