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Benfica v Chelsea – 2013 UEFA Europa League Finals

When: 8:45pm CET. Wednesday, May 15th 2013
Where: Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Chelsea will meet Benfica in the 2013 Europa League Final on Wednesday in Amsterdam. Chelsea is a team with more class, but they haven’t been convincing this year in league play or in Europe and Benfica is a confident side heading into this match.

Things can change a lot in a year in football. Chelsea won the 2012 Champions League, but they were knocked out in the group stage this year and were thrown into the Europa League knockout stage. Instead of folding after being knocked out of the CL they earned a spot in the Europa League finals.

Benfica just suffered their first league play loss of the season against FC Porto and sit 2nd on the table now. The loss hurt their chances at a Portuguese Liga title this season, but the side is confident that they can beat Chelsea in Amsterdam.

Latest Benfica v Chelsea Betting Odds

Asian Handicap
1X2 Odds
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+0.5 (1.63)
-0.5 (2.25)
O2.5 (2.05)
U2.5 (1.75)
O2.5 (2.00)
U2.5 (1.73)

2013 Europa League Finals Betting Analysis

Chelsea is 5-1-2 in Europa League action with losses against Steaua Bucuresti and Rubin Kazan. Chelsea has had struggles in away matches during the competition, but they’re 3-1-0 at Stamford Bridge and have outscored opponents 10-4 in home matches.

The Blues have scored an average of 1.88 GPG (4th) in the Europa League and conceded 1.13 GPG. Chelsea hasn’t had to play that tough of competition throughout the knockout stage and the defence will need to play better in the finals than they have been.

Benfica has gone 6-1-1 during the Europa League with their lone loss coming against Fenerbahce in the semi-finals. Benfica is also a much stronger side when playing at home in Lisbon and I don’t think either team has an edge playing on a neutral field.

Benfica had a tough road to the finals, as they had to play Leverkusen, Bordeaux, Newcastle and Fenerbahce. Benfica had a tougher road than Chelsea and they still managed to average 1.75 GPG (6th) and only conceded 0.88 GPG during the knockout stage.

Key Performers to Watch in the 2013 Europa League Finals

Fernando Torres has struggled immensely in league play with just 7 goals, but he has netted 5 goals in 8 Europa League matches already and leads the team in that category. Ezequiel Garay will try his best to make life difficult for Torres in the finals though.

Oscar Cardozo has been in magnificent form during the competition and he has scored 6 goals in 8 matches. Cardozo scored 2 of those goals at home in the 2nd leg of the semi-finals against Fenerbahce to help his side secure a place in the finals.

Nemanja Matic is a world class midfielder that has been in great form this season. He possesses excellent defending skills, but he can also make quick counter-attacks. If Chelsea wants to win they need to smother Matic when he touches the ball.

Luiz and Ramires both transferred to Chelsea from Benfica in a huge double transfer back in 2010. Both Ramires and Luiz have been great on Chelsea and they have experience on Benfica tactics and more that can help Chelsea win this match.

Chelsea Manager Rafael Benitez said that he expects Ramires and Luiz to play major roles in the finals. Ramires has a knack for scoring goals in huge matches, but I expect Ramires to play a more defensive minded game in order to contain Nico Gaitan.

Benfica v Chelsea Predictions

My betting tip in this match is for Chelsea to win the match. Benfica has lots of class throughout their line-up, but Chelsea is the better team. Focus has been an issue for Chelsea at times, but I don’t think that’ll play a role in a huge match like this.

I also think that the big match-up battles favour Chelsea in this match. Luiz is going to make it difficult for Cardozo during the match and I think he’ll be held quiet. I expect Moses to get the start for Chelsea as well and he can widen the pitch.

Benfica is a bit weak at LB and Moses has the speed down the wing to cause problems. Moses has been in excellent form during the Europa League competition and he’s currently ranked in 8th place with 4 goals after playing just 426 minutes on the pitch.

Last year these two teams played in the Champions League QF’s and Chelsea won both matches. This Chelsea team isn’t as good as last year’s team, but they should be confident in knowing that they can beat Benfica and this is the best bet in the match.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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