Sevilla was the last team to complete a successful defence of the UEFA Europa League and one expects that the Spanish Primera Division side will become the most successful team in the history of the competition by beating Dnipro in Warsaw, result that we tipped at +2000 and +1800 here.
But one believes that Dnipro will make life difficult for Sevilla and that the best bet on offer in the UEFA Europa League final is under two and a goals at odds of -133 with Betfair and BetVictor. One was expecting bookmakers to go out of their way to duck bets on under two and a half goals so it was a pleasant surprise to see Betfair and BetVictor‘s market-leading odds.
Dnipro, the second Ukrainian Premier League side to make the UEFA Europa League final after Shakhtar Donetsk in 2009, has qualified for the championship game by work hard and getting its tactics spot on. Technically, Dnipro is one of the worst teams to reach a major UEFA competition final and, provided that Sevilla concentrates for the duration of the match, one believes that the best for which the underdog can hope is a goalless draw and a ticket to a penalty shoot-out lottery.
Low-scoring games have been a feature of Dnipro’s remarkable run to the UEFA Europa League final. Twelve of Dnipro’s 16 UEFA Europa League games have gone under two and a half goals and the four matches that went over the line were excusable. Dnipro scored in the 88th minute of its UEFA Europa League home game against Hajduk Split to defeat the Croatian lightweight 2-1. Dnipro’s second UEFA Europa League match that went over two and a half goals was its 2-1 away win over Azerbaijani minnow Qarabag. Dnipro’s UEFA Europa League game at Internazionale was heading under two and a half goals until Inter had a player sent off. And Dnipro was drawing 1-1 at 10-man Olympiakos going into the last few minutes before two late goals resulted in a 2-2 score.
Even though Dnipro is one of the Ukrainian Premier League’s heavyweights – it is third on the ladder with one round to go – most of its divisional matches have gone under two and a half goals. Eleven of Dnipro’s 25 Ukrainian Premier League games have gone under two and a half goals, including its two away matches versus Dynamo Kviv and Shakhtar Donetsk – those two games had one goal between them and Dynamo Kyiv scored it in the 84th minute of its 1-0 home victory.
Dnipro has reached the UEFA Europa League final by playing a particular way and one would be amazed if it moved away from those tactics against Sevilla in Warsaw on Wednesday. Dnipro is likely to force Sevilla into making all the running and one cannot see the goals tally getting out of hand unless the favourite races into a early 2-0 lead. Yes, one thinks that Dnipro will not throw caution to the wind even if it trails 0-1 at half time. Under two and a half goals really does look like a solid play at not much shorter than evens.
Sevilla is trading at shorter odds to win the UEFA Europa League final in normal time than one can get about under two and a half goals. A way of supporting Sevilla to retain the trophy that represents better value is backing the favourite to win either 1-0 or 2-0. BetVictor is offering odds of +550 about Sevilla 1-0 and odds of +650 about Sevilla 2-0 so a dutched bet on those two scores generates odds of +248 . A wager on Sevilla win to nil is a viable option as well but one prefers the longer odds about a low-scoring victory.
UEFA has appointed Martin Atkinson to referee the UEFA Europa League final. Incredibly, the three most cautioned players in the UEFA Europa League all play for Dnipro so one suggests looking for odds shortly before kick off about the underdog collecting more cards points than Sevilla. As ever, bookmakers are being slow to price up this exotic market.
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