Europa League Final
The Europa League final takes place in Basel tonight between Liverpool and Sevilla, who are looking for a hat trick of wins in this competition having won in 2014 and 2015.
The bookies have Liverpool as quite strong favourites at a best price of 7/5, with Sevilla at 23/10. I think this will be due to the fantastic comeback against the then tournament favourites Dortmund, and their thoroughly convincing semi final second win against Villarreal. Sevilla have great pedigree in this competition though and are something of a specialist cup side with the Copa Del Rey final against Barcelona to come on Sunday.
Both teams had below par seasons in their respective leagues with Liverpool finishing eighth and Sevilla seventh, meaning this is the only way they can qualify for the Champions League, so as well as having the trophy to play there is also that added incentive - not that any will be required.
Liverpool have had their injury problems this season but the majority of those are now over, with both Divock Origi and Jordan Henderson recovering in time to hopefully take their place on the bench. This is a big boost for Jurgen Klopp and it would be a surprise if he didn't start the same eleven that beat a decent Villarreal team 3-0 at Anfield a couple of weeks ago to book their place in the final.
Sevilla also had a pretty comfortable second leg win. beating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 with Kevin Gameiro scoring a brace. He is their danger man and Liverpool will need to keep him quiet if they are to lift the trophy here tonight. He has scored 28 times this season which is a brilliant effort and a few of the big European clubs will surely be tracking his progress.
I think both teams will look to start fast and gain the advantage. Any time that Liverpool have played well this season they have done that and I don't see tonight being any difference. They will press high and fast when the opportunity arises and look to win the ball back as soon as possible. If they were to get an early goal I wonder if Sevilla will have enough to get a foothold back into the game and could see Liverpool winning by a couple of goals. Sevilla have been extremely strong at home this season but failed to win a single game away from home in La Liga and they terrible form on their travels makes me think they may struggle. They do have plenty enough about themselves to trouble Liverpool though and I feel confident that they will score. Therefore the bet of Liverpool to win and both teams to score appeals to me at 4/1.
This is a pivotal match for Liverpool as it would represent their first trophy for five years, and being in the Champions League will help their chances of being able to attract the calibre of player that Klopp will be interested far easier.
Liverpool win and BTTS - 2 points @ 4/1 (Coral)