It was very much better late than never, and fans of European football were in for a treat on Friday 21st with the Europa League winners Sevilla taking on previous Champions League Winners Inter Milan.
Football Tripper brings you a full match review including what were the expected line-ups, key stats and head to head records, quotes from the managers and of course the comparing betting odds to actual results.
Location & Kick-Off Time
The match took place in Cologne’s Stadium on Friday 21st August at 21:00 Central European Time or 20:00 in the UK and Ireland.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the game was of course held behind closed doors with zero spectators.
What was at Stake?
First and foremost the winners, Sevilla, automatically gained qualification to the UEFA Champions league. This is regarded as the main attraction of lifting the Europa League, however it was only introduced in 2015 in order to increase the prestige and since then the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have all laid their hands on the trophy. Second of all, the winners will have the honour of facing this seasons Champions League holders in the UEFA Super Cup. This match will be held on 24th September, and the Europa league winner will face off against either PSG or Bayern Munich.
Based on team squad injuries and most played formations, the following line-ups were the recommended starting 11s of both teams:
Sevilla: Bounou; Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Reguilón; Banega, Fernando, Jordán; Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos
Inter: Handanovič; Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozović, Gagliardini, Young; Martínez, Lukaku
Europa League Records:
Sevilla were in formidable form heading into the finals having beaten Manchester United 2-1 in the semi-final in a very close match. The club have won an incredible 2 UEFA Cups and 3 Europa League trophies including for three consecutive seasons in a row between 2013/14 to 16. This means many automatically put the Andalusian club as favourites anyway, despite bookies giving them lower chances to win than Inter.
UEFA ranking: 8
Domestic position: 4 (final match: 19 July)
Last five games (most recent first): WWWWD
How they got there: Group A winners, 1-1 CFR Cluj (away goals, R32), 2-0 Roma (R16), 1-0 Wolves (QF), 2-1 Manchester United (SF)
Last season: round of 16 (L vs Slavia Praha, aet)
Final record: P5 W5 L0 (most recent: 16, W vs Liverpool)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2005/06, 2006/07, 2013/14, 15, 16)
Internazionale Milano (Italy)
It’s fair to say Inter Milan haven’t quite fared as well as Sevilla in recent years, with the Nerazzurri peaking in the 2009/2010 season when the club achieved an iconic treble including the Champions League under a certain Jose Mourinho.
Since then they have been a very inconsistent fixture in European competitions with the 1997/98 campaign most recently delivering success in the UEFA Cup helped by the legendary brazillian striker, Ronaldo.
UEFA ranking: 33
Domestic position: 2 (final match: 1 August)
Last five games: WWWWW
How they got there: UEFA Champions League group stage, 4-1 Ludogorets (R32), 2-0 Getafe (R16), 2-1 Leverkusen (QF), 5-0 Shakhtar (SF)
Last season: round of 16 (L vs Eintracht Frankfurt)
Final record: P4 W3 L1 (most recent: 1997/98, W vs Lazio)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98)
Official Poll: Sevilla Won Against All Odds
According to an official poll on the UEFA website, 68% percent of all fans believed Inter Milan will win the Europa League final, meaning that only 32% backed Sevilla to get the job done. This was coherent with the main odds in the favour of Inter, granting it +115 bet in comparison to Sevilla with +240. Comes to show that public opinion plus betting odds just aren’t enough to predict the final result.
The number of votes wasn’t available, however there was usually the concern with online polls that they are often more of a popularity contest than a reflection of genuine public opinion! It’s often quite similar to how bookmakers across the world work. They usually set the initial odds for any sporting event based on predictive modelling, and then adjust them depending on how much money punters are putting on. This is why experienced punters know to login to recommended betting tip sites and get insights from pros.
If the odds shorten for one team closer to kick-off, it suggests that more people are backing them to win, whereas the opposite is also true if the odds “improve” – essentially either less money has gone on this team, or new information is available which has downweighted the likelihood of them winning.
Overall, it’s super important to compare your odds before placing a bet, and whether you backed Sevilla or Inter Milan to lift the 2020 Europa League on Friday, you shouldn’t forget to sign up offers for UK customers from the best bookies. This way you increase your chances of hitting correctly with your bet, because as you can see just relying on bookmakers and public opinion is not going to cut it. It’s super quick to sign-up and compare the odds, and you never know what bonuses or special offers you see!
From everyone here at Football Tripper, we hope you enjoy the final and if you do sign-up, please remember to gamble responsibly!