Who will be crowned kings of European soccer?
Cloudbet previews Sunday's big match as PSG meet Bayern in Lisbon for the coveted UCL title. And a look at Saturday's curtain-raiser as Sevilla takes on Internazionale in the Europa League final.
Europa League Final 2020 – Sevilla v Internazionale
Current Odds: Sevilla 3.32 Draw 3.42 Inter 2.13
While UEFA have stumbled into a successful single-match knockout format, enjoy it while it lasts, because TV money will soon curtail the fun.
Spanish teams have won this tournament five out of the past eight times, while an Italian team last won this final in the 20th century (Parma in 1999 - although Inter did win it in 1998).
It’s no secret that Serie A takes precedence in the priorities of Italian clubs earlier in the season, but that in no way diminishes Inter’s motivation for the final.
The only relevant team news is Alexis Sanchez’s muscle injury, but he plays second fiddle to Lukaku and Martinez nevertheless. Sevilla are at full strength.
Naturally, given the quick knockout format, both teams are in good form. Inter are worthy favourites having scored 111 goals this season and fielding the only true superstar in Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez.
For “EPL is the best league in the world” fans, ex-Man City’s Jesus Navas faces ex-Man United’s Ashley Young, the rejuvenated Romelu Lukaku will start and, as an indication of Inter’s strength in depth, ex-Spurs idol Chrstian Eriksen will warm the bench.
Football Manager fans can wait for a cameo from wonderkid Sebastiano Esposito should the game state allow Antonio Conte the luxury of such a substitution.
As for predictions, it’s a well-balanced final with plenty of technical skill and experience on both teams. Sevilla boast much more European know-how, yet Inter possess more elite attacking ability.
However, both are intuitively counter-attacking so it’d be no surprise to see a slow early pace and a goalless first half. Certainly, the earlier the first goal, the better the spectacle for neutral fans.
Champions League Final 2020 – Paris St. Germain v Bayern Munich
Current Odds: PSG 3.20 Draw 4.12 Bayern 2.07
A true Hollywood underdog story to warm the cockles of the heart, as oil-rich PSG face oil-sponsored Bayern as every football hipster watches The Big Lebowski for the umpteenth time.
Arguably, PSG field the two truly world-class stars in Neymar and Mbappe, yet Bayern have the edge in quality in almost all other positions on the field.
Naturally, Neuer – who placed third in 2014 - Thiago, Gnabry and especially Lewandowski have star quality, but aren't in the running for the Ballon D'Or.
However, Bayern’s rising star is Canadian Alphonso Davies, who produced an incredible assist from the left wing for Bayern’s fifth goal against Barcelona in the quarter-finals and will test the marginally weaker right hand side of PSG.
Injury-wise, each team have one regular yet replaceable player struggling in PSG keeper Navas and Bayern's Jerome Boateng.
Both teams cruised to 3-0 victories in the semi-finals, but as slight underdogs the French champions need Neymar to rediscover his scoring form to overcome this strong and confident Bayern team.
In terms of predictions, UCL finals have proven to be an anti-climax as the pressure of the occasion inhibits the attacking nature of recent participants, and although the same can usually be said of UCL quarters and semis, that hasn’t been the case behind closed doors and without the usual media build up in the past few weeks.
Given the free flowing football seen so far in Portugal, over 3 goals at 1.57 looks fair value.
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