Europa League Final Preview: Chelsea vs Benfica on Wednesday, May 15th

14/05/2013 no comments »
Europa League Final Preview: Chelsea vs Benfica on Wednesday, May 15th

The Europa League Final will take place on Wednesday the 15th May at the Amsterdam Arena between English club Chelsea and Portuguese giants Benfica.

The London Club are favourites as it was only a year ago they won the Champions League final by beating Bayern Munich in their own stadium, whereas the Lisbon based side are competing in their first European Final since 1990.

Both sides were eliminated from the Champions League in the Group stages this season thus they controversially entered the Europa League at the last thirty-two stage. Chelsea have beaten Sparta Prague, Steaua Bucharest , Rubin Kazan and Swiss side Basel FC to reach the final, whilst Benfica have eliminated German side Bayer Leverkusen, French outfit Bordeaux, English side Newcastle United and lastly Turkish side Fenerbahce in the semi-final.

Chelsea have been big spenders in the transfer market ever since Russian owner Roman Abramovich took control of the Club in 2003, so their squad is packed with top quality talent such as Brazilian Oscar, Spanish midfielder Juan Mata, and established Club Legend Frank Lampard, who has now equalled the most goals in history for Chelsea following last weekend’s score against Aston Villa.

Benfica also have some quality players in their ranks with Paraguay forward and top scorer Oscar Cardozo, Argentine midfielders Pablo Aimar and Nicolás Gaitán, along with Brazilian striker Lima.

There is also a little added spice to the Final as there are some players who will be playing against their former Club, Chelsea’s Brazilian duo David Luiz and Ramires both played for Benfica before signing for the London side, thus they will be desperate to play well in front of their previous employers.

Chelsea’s current form is good as they have recorded victories over Aston Villa and Manchester United recently along with a home draw against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, to all but seal their place in next seasons Champions League.

Benfica’s form is not as healthy as they suffered a heart breaking injury time loss to Championship rivals Porto last weekend, thus surrendering top spot in the League standings to them in the process. This will probably make the Portuguese side even more dangerous on Wednesday and although Chelsea are favourites, Finals are never cut and dried as last season’s Champions League Final showed. Europa League Final Tickets are still available!

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