#EuropaLeagueFinal – Liverpool v Sevilla – Preview & Prediction
After a stop start league campaign, Liverpool find themselves in the final of another European competition. Sevilla will be looking to win their 3rd consecutive Europa League.
Odds: Liverpool 11/8, Sevilla 5/2, Draw 5/2.
I was a little surprised to see Liverpool at such short odds tonight, especially as Sevilla look to win their 5th Europa League in 10 years. After a brief glance over Sevilla’s end of season run, coupled with the ‘Liverpool effect’ on European nights, perhaps I shouldn’t be.
Liverpool’s league campaign ended with a 1-1 draw at West Brom. It was a scrappy affair with both teams having diddly squat to play for (although a 5-0 West Brom win would have moved them up to 13th so maybe I’m being a little harsh). Klopp fielded a weakened side with both eyes firmly on tonight, giving us no real insight into tonight’s game.
Sevilla finished with a 3-1 defeat to Atletic Bilbao. It was a much-changed team and they played with 10 and then 9 men for large portions of the game so again, not much to take away ahead of tonight.
Now, let’s compare Liverpool & Sevilla’s final 9 games of the season, which gives us a better idea of how tonight will play out. The short version – Liverpool lost one game, Sevilla won one game.
Liverpool – P9, W4, D4, L1
Liverpool ended the campaign with good home results over Stoke (4-1), rivals Everton (4-0) and Watford (2-0). In their solitary loss away at Swansea (3-1) they fielded an inexperienced side with one eye on their Europa League Semi Final with Villareal.
Liverpool’s run in was nothing spectacular, but compared to Sevilla…
Sevilla- P9, W1, D1, L7
More worryingly for Sevilla is that they only played the big boys once. A 4-0 loss to Real Madrid started a truly a miserable run in. They succumbed to three 2-1 defeats; to struggling Sporting Gijon, fellow mid-tablers Valencia & Sociedad, and worst of all spanked 4-1 at home by Granada.
Looking a little closer at Sevilla’s league campaign you notice something remarkable – their away record. The fact they have managed to finish in 7th place is genuinely pretty impressive considering they have won 0 out of 19 away games this season.
Ignoring each sides’ final game, it gives an indication of where they both are coming into tonight. Even after a stop start season for Liverpool, Klopp seems to have (at least for now) brought a new lease of life back to the club. The 4-3 home win over Dortmund typified this & will go down as one of the best European comebacks in recent times. At 2-0 down at halftime & 4-1 down on aggregate very few would’ve given Liverpool a chance and Klopp must be given credit for their remarkable second half performance. Not only is he likable but players want to play for him. He’s a great fit for Liverpool, his passion is palpable & on nights like tonight that will shine through.
Must mention that Sevilla are impressively going for their 3rd consecutive Europa League title tonight, but this season is undoubtedly different for them. Their league form has steadily been declining since 2014 and the fact that they haven’t won away all season in La Liga will play a big factor.
Expecting Klopp to win his first silverware as Liverpool manager tonight.
Prediction – Liverpool 2-1 Sevilla
The pick – Liverpool to lift the cup – 8/11
Worth a quid – Coutinho anytime goal scorer – 3/1