Europa League Final

Europa Liga

Last year’s Champions League winners meet this season’s Primeria Liga leaders in the Europa League final on Wednesday. Can the Blues make European history and win  back-to-back UCL and Europa League titles? We investigated the numbers behind the big match.

90 – the minute in which Meireles knocked out Benfica last season


Benfica were victims of Chelsea’s Champions League run last season, as Di Matteo’s men knocked the Portuguese side out 3-1 over the two quarter-final legs. Goals from  Kalou, Lampard and Meireles secured the win – none of whom now regularly featured in Benitez’s side.


The odds with Pinnacle Sports are Chelsea at 2.290* to win, 3.450* to lose and 3.400* for a draw in full time.


0 – red cards for either team in the UEL


Despite neither side being strongly associated with fair play, both teams have avoided red cards in their campaigns so far. Enzo Peréz has the worst disciplinary  record of the two teams, receiving four yellow cards from 15 tackles. César Azpilicueta has Chelsea’s worst record, with just two yellow cards.


The “no player sent off” is set at 1.313* on Pinnacle Sports’, with “yes” at 3.620*.


1 – defeat for each team so far


Benfica were the only unbeaten team left in the competition until Fenerbahce toppled them 1-0 in the first leg of the semi-finals. Chelsea have also only lost once,  against Rubin 3-2.


2 –goals needed to win the golden boot award


Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo needs to bag a brace in the final to equal Libor Kozak’s eight goals in the competition so far. Chelsea’s star hitman Fernando Torres requires  a hat-trick.


“Both teams to score” is set at 1.826*, while “no” is at 2.080*.


82.5 – minutes played per goal for Cardozo


Cardozo is firing in a goal every 82.5 minutes on average in this year’s Europa League – far better than Torres who scores ever 1.5 games (144-minute intervals).


In fact, Chelsea’s second top scorer Victor Moses is averaging an impressive 106.5 minutes per goal. Benfica are without a fallback if Cardozo has an off day – no  other player has scored more than once in the Europa league.


The odds for Chelsea to have a clean sheet are 1.735*, and for Benfica it’s 2.160*.


57% – Victor Moses’ conversion rate for shots on target


Moses is also the most efficient striker in the two teams, scoring 57% of his changes on target. Cardozo scores 50% of his on-target strikes, while Torres finishes on  a dismal 36% of occasions.


18% – percentage of Europa League goals scored in the final 15 minutes


Most goals – 18% (17.6%) – in the Europa League come between the 76-90 minutes, which would make for an exciting climax to the final. Otherwise the most important  period is the 16-30 minute mark, which sees 16.8% goals.


38 –goals scored in second-half injury time


If you’re hoping for last-minute action, the Europa League has seen 38 goals in second half injury time this season. That’s 7.3% of all goals coming in just 4% of the  game.


6 – European finals without a win for Benfica


Benfica have not won in their last six European finals, dating all the way back to 1962. This means the Portuguese side has won just two of its eight European finals  (the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1961/62 and 1960/61).


Chelsea, on the other hand, have won three of their four European final appearances – their only defeat coming in the 2007/08 Champions League.


(Source: Pinnacle)




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