At the weekend, Chelsea and Benfica enjoyed widely contrasting warm ups for the Europa League final; the Blues coming from behind to beat Aston Villa and secure Champions League football for next season and the Portuguese outfit shipping a demoralising last-gasp winner in what was almost a title decider against rivals Porto.
Benfica, who have lost their last six European finals, haven’t contested once since 1990, whereas Chelsea need only look back a year to when they won the Champions League and that recent experience will stand the Blues in good stead in the Amsterdam Arena.
Furthermore, in the pair’s two previous meetings, in the last eight of the Champions League in 2012, Chelsea narrowly edged it on both occasions and a similar outcome looks on cards in this one.
Boylesports price the Blues at 16/5 to shade it by one, as was the case in the couple of clashes a year ago and Coral offer a generous looking 9/1 about Benitez’s troops finishing on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline in a contest that’s 4/5 (William Hill) to see both teams find the net.
Fernando Torres meanwhile, has enjoyed life in Europe far more than he has domestically and has struck five times in as many Europa League outings of late so he’ll attract cash at 13/2 with bet365 to notch first as well as at 9/4 (bwin) to net at any time.