Europa League Final Betting Preview
While domestic competitions like the Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga might dominate European soccer for much of the year, there’s one point in the year when it all comes to a head, and the greatest teams in Europe unite for UEFA’s continental tournaments. Then we really see the best of the best.
UEFA’s club competitions are split into three tiers: the Champions League, the Europa League, and the Europa Conference League. Each competition follows the same format as the FIFA World Cup, with a round-robin group stage followed by a knockout tournament.
Currently, we’ve got our eye on the Europa League knockout stage, which will come to a head next week on May 18th when Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers face off at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium in Seville, Spain. Whoever wins the competition will go down in history alongside the giants of European soccer like Inter Milan, Liverpool, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester United.
If this year’s event is anything like last year, patrons at Bodog are in for a wild ride. Last year’s Europa League final went to penalties after Villarreal and Manchester United were tied one for one. The Spanish side eventually won the shootout 11-10, sending their English opponents home empty-handed.
Whatever happens this time around, penalty or not, we’re bound to be on the edge of our seats at every turn of the game. With less than a week to go, Bodog is reviewing each team’s Europa League final odds, along with their performance this season both at home and in Europe.
Let’s see how each one might fare for the odds.
Eintracht Frankfurt (+125)
With Europa League final odds of +125, Eintracht Frankfurt are the favourites to win the match, although the plus money odds reflect the fact that they’re unlikely to run away with the title through a dominant performance.
The German side hasn’t been in the Europa League final since 1980 when they took on Borussia Mönchengladbach and won. The club’s players and fans hope they can extend this victory record to one more game when they face Rangers.
In the Bundesliga, the club hasn’t fared so well this season as they’ve been floating around in the bottom half of the table, but nevertheless they’ve gone all out for glory in the Europa League.
In the group stages, Eintracht finished at the top of Group D, winning three games, drawing in another three, and losing none. They are the only club to have got through this year’s tournament without a single defeat, something that will be giving the players some confidence when they walk onto the pitch in Seville.
Frankfurt will also be riding high on the fact that their journey to the Europa League final has been one paved with hard-to-beat teams, all of whom they’ve managed to send packing. In the semi-finals, Eintracht Frankfurt beat West Ham 3-1 on aggregate, with victories both home and away.
Before that, they faced Barcelona, holding the Spanish giants to a 1-1 draw at home even when reduced to ten men. Then, in the return leg, at Barcelona’s intimidating Camp Nou stadium, Filip Kostic and Rafael Borre netted three goals between them to finish 4-3 on aggregate.
Borre is the club’s top scorer this season, while Kostic is its third-best. Sandwiched between them is Daichi Kamada, who has managed 9 goals and 4 assists this year. We can expect them to all make appearances on Oliver Glasner’s team sheet, which we expect he’ll publish sooner rather than later.
Rangers are not the favourites to win the match, with Europa League final odds of +215. That doesn’t mean they’re out for the count; it just means they have a little more work to do.
Rangers are a 150-year old Scottish club sitting pretty near the top of the Scottish Premiership, the highest level on the nation’s soccer pyramid. Based in Glasgow, Scotland’s “second city”, the team has won a handy 55 first-tier league championships over its long lifetime.
That number would have likely been higher had the club not been relegated to the Third Division after getting into financial difficulty in 2012. They’ve worked their way back since then and have reunited with their winning ways, and securing a European trophy would be the perfect way for Rangers to put this period of history behind them.
The club has periodically made European appearances before, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1972 and finishing as runners up in the Europa League back in 2008.
In their domestic competition, Rangers finished second behind arch-rivals Celtic and lost just three matches throughout the entire season. That said, the Scottish Premiership is a two-horse race with no other teams that could truly cause the Glasgow side much trouble. So, how they’ll fare in the Europa League final is not the best metric to rely upon.
In the group stages, Rangers narrowly finished second in Group A with eight points, half as many as first-placed Lyon and just one more than third-placed Sparta Praha. In fact, the club was the lowest-scoring team that made it into the knockout phase.
They’ve also managed to avoid the big names to beat on their way to the final, facing Crvena Zvezda in the round of 16 and Braga in the quarter-final, though RB Leipzig were more of a challenge.
With the win against RB Leipzig, Rangers have proven they can beat a quality Bundesliga team, though they got most of the work done in the home leg. This time, they’ll be on neutral ground so won’t have that same advantage.
With heavy hitters like Alfredo Morelos, James Tavernier, and Kemar Roofe, players who have all managed 15 or more goals this season, they could still overcome the hurdles that lay ahead.
The Europa League final is set to be a close one, between two clubs without a long history of competing at this level. The dynamics should make for a fascinating match that promises plenty of surprises. Check out the Europa League final odds and get your predictions in early – this is going to be one of the matches of the year.
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