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Europa League And Champions League Final Preview And Predictions

This week we have two of the biggest games in club football taking place across Europe. Tonight, in the famous Polish shipyard city of Gdansk, Manchester United will face Villarreal in the final of the Europa League.

Then on Saturday evening, at the rearranged venue of the Estadio Do Dragao, in Porto, Portugal, English Premier League Champions, Manchester City will take on Chelsea in the biggest club game on Earth, the Champions League Final.

Of course, interest in both these huge games is set to be massive and you can enjoy a wide range of both pre-match betting, as well as extensive Live In Play betting on both these key matches with bet365 Sport.

Soccer may not be the most popular sport in the United States, but it has a growing popularity and not just with teams in Major League Soccer. Top Premier League sides draw a large following across the U.S. and if you are based in Pennsylvania and want to enjoy a bit of betting on either of these games, then check out the markets available at BetRivers PA.

Let’s now preview both these huge games taking place this week to decide who ends up with UEFA’s top two trophies this season.

Europa League Final Preview

Manchester United v Villarreal

  • Venue – Gdansk Stadium
  • Date – Wednesday 26th May
  • Kick Off – 8pm UK Time
  • Referee – Clement Turpijn (France)

Manchester United are back in the Europa League Final for the second time in four years, their last trip seeing them land a 2-0 win over Ajax in 2017. They face Villarreal, who will be competing in the clubs first ever final of any kind, but who have remained unbeaten in all 14 Europa League games they have faced so far this season.

The teams have met four times previously, all in the group stages of the Champions League in 2005 and 2008 and all four games finished in 0-0 draws.

United start the game as the 9/10 favourites to win with bet365 Sport, with Villarreal the 10/3 outsiders. A draw is a 12/5 shot which would take the game into extra time, with penalties used to decide the winner if extra time does not split the teams.

Manchester United Preview

How United Reached The Final

Champions League Group Stage Results

  • V Paris St Germain (A) – W 2-1
  • V Red Bull Leipzig (H) – W 5-0
  • V Istanbul Basaksehir (A) – L 1-2
  • V Istanbul Basaksehir (H) – W 4-1
  • V Paris St Germain (H) – L 1-3
  • V Red Bull Leipzig (A) – L 2-3

The Red Devils began this season in the Champions League but despite winning their first two games, three defeats in their last four saw them drop to third in the group, meaning they entered the Europa League in the New Year at the Round of 32 stage.

Europa League Knockout Stage Results

  • Round of 32 – v Real Sociedad – Away – W 4-0, Home – D 0-0 (4-0 agg)
  • Round of 16 – v AC Milan – Home – D 1-1, Away – W 1-0 (2-1 agg)
  • Quarterfinal – v Granada – Away – W 2-0, Home – W 2-0 (4-0 agg)
  • Semifinal – v AS Roma – Home – W 6-2, Away – L 2-3 (8-5 on agg)

Solid away form has been the hallmark of United performances this season and they showed that in the knockout stage, only losing one game on the road, and that the semifinal after they were already 6-2 up from the first leg. The Red Devils have beaten Spanish opponents twice already ahead of the final in Real Sociedad and Granada.

Villarreal Preview

Europa League Group Stage Results

  • V Sivasspor (H) – W 5-3
  • V Qarabag (A) – W 3-1
  • V Maccabi Tel Aviv (H) – W 4-0
  • V Maccabi Tel Aviv (A) – D 1-1
  • V Sivasspor (A) – W 1-0
  • V Qarabag (H) – W 3-0

Finishing 6th in La Liga last season, Villarreal entered the Europa League Group Stage and were given a favourable draw against Sivasspor, Qarabag and Maccabi Tel Aviv. They made short work of the group, winning five and drawing one of their six games to top the group comfortably and make it into the Round of 32.

Europa League Knockout Stage Results

  • Round of 32 – v Red Bull Salzburg – Away – W 2-0, Home – W 2-1 (4-1 agg)
  • Round of 16 – v Dynamo Kiev – Away – W 2-0, Home – W 2-0 (4-0 agg)
  • Quarterfinal – v Dinamo Zagreb – Away – W 1-0, Home – W 2-1 (3-1 agg)
  • Semifinal – v Arsenal – Home – W 2-1, Away – D 0-0 (2-1 on agg)

Villarreal’s unbeaten record continued throughout the knockout stage where they were very impressive, winning seven of their eight games and drawing just the one, and that was enough to take them through against Arsenal in the semifinal.

Europa League Final Tips

Although United are the favourites to win this game by a considerable margin, I do feel the bookies are underestimating their Spanish opponents, Villarreal are a very good side and have some very dangerous players and they are unbeaten in this year’s competition.

It’s also worth noting that United’s record against Spanish sides in Europe isn’t as strong as against teams from other countries. However, Villarreal’s record against English opponents also isn’t that strong either.

My feeling here is that this game will need extra time and maybe even penalties to decide the winner, so, I would back the draw at 12/5 here with bet365 Sport, while for a correct score bet, I would go for 1-1, which is an 11/2 shot.

As for the winner, if this goes to penalties then it is a coin toss, but I am going to back Villarreal to lift the trophy, which is a 2/1 shot.

Champions League Final Preview

Chelsea v Manchester City

  • Venue – Estadio do Dragao, Porto
  • Date – Saturday 29th May
  • Kick Off – 8pm UK Time
  • Referee – Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

Manchester City will contest the Champions League Final for the first time in their history as they seek to add the Champions League to the Premier League and Carabao Cup that they have already won this season.

However, they face rivals Chelsea, who are appearing in their third final, losing their first to Manchester United on penalties, before earning victory the same way a few years later against Bayern Munich in Munich.

The final was switched from Istanbul to Porto late in proceedings, but it does mean that fans will be in attendance for the showpiece game of the season in football terms with a crowd of around 20,000 expected for the game.

Chelsea Preview

Champions League Group Stage Results

  • V Sevilla (H) – D 0-0
  • V Krasnodar (A) – W 4-0
  • V Rennes (H) – W 3-0
  • V Rennes (A) – W 2-1
  • V Sevilla – (A) – W 4-0
  • V Krasnodar (H) – D 1-1

Four wins in a row, including two 4-0 away wins put Chelsea in total command of their Champions League group and meant that they qualified for the knockout phase as group winners ahead of Sevilla.

Champions League Knockout Stage Results

  • Round of 16 – V Atletico Madrid (1-0 Away) (2-0 Home) (3-0 agg)
  • Quarterfinals – V FC Porto (2-0 Away) (0-1 Home) (2-1 agg)
  • Semifinals – V Real Madrid (1-1 Away) (2-0 Home) (3-1 agg)

The only blip on the road to the final for Chelsea was a home defeat to FC Porto, but that late goal wasn’t enough to stop Chelsea going through. They also despatched both Madrid teams on their way to the final.

Manchester City Preview

Champions League Group Stage Results

  • V FC Porto (H) – W 3-1
  • V Marseille (A) – W 3-0
  • V Olympiakos (H) – W 3-0
  • V Olympiakos (A) – W 1-0
  • V FC Porto (A) – D 0-0
  • V Marseille (H) – W 3-0

City made light work of qualifying as winners from their group only conceding one goal during the group phase and dropping just two points to win the group from FC Porto in second.

Champions League Knockout Stage Results

  • Round of 16 – V Borussia Moench (2-0 Away) (2-0 Home) (4-0 agg)
  • Quarterfinals – VBorussia Dortmund (2-1 Home) (2-1 Away) (4-2 agg)
  • Semifinals – V Paris St Germain (2-1 Away) (2-0 Home) (4-1 agg)

The English Champions were also perfect in the group stage winning home and away in all of their six games, knocking out two German sides, as well as last year’s beaten finalists, Paris St Germain on their way to the final.

Champions League Final Tips

Chelsea have had the better of the last two encounters with Manchester City, but before that City beat Chelsea in London 3-1 in their first Premier League game this season, so this isn’t quite as cut and dried as it appears.

The bookies favour City quite clearly, but recent games suggest that Thomas Tuchel has worked out a way to play against City that is highly effective and seeing how they do will be intriguing.

Even so, I still feel Manchester City are the team to back for the win at 5/6 on the Full Time Result market and if I was picking a Correct Score, I would go with 2-1 to the Citizens.

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 as of 11.00am on Wednesday 26th May 2021.

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