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The odds for Sevilla vs Roma are from the DraftKings sportsbook, where you can get $150 in bonus bets immediately after betting $5.
This looks set to be a close game but we feel the Spanish outfit have the edge.
Back Sevilla to beat Roma in the 2023 Europa League final. (+170)
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Sevilla are the most successful side in the history of the Europa League - and by some distance too. Six-time champions, they have lifted the trophy twice as often as the tournament’s next top-performing sides, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Inter and Liverpool.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Sevilla’s first triumph did not come until 2006, a whole 34 years after the Europa League was launched as the UEFA Cup. They won again in 2007, then claimed three in a row in the mid-2010s. Their most recent victory was three years ago in 2020.
A Sevilla success on Wednesday would be their fifth in the last 10 years. That sort of dominance is difficult to attain in any competition, but it feels especially unlikely in the Europa League, in which victory sees a side qualify for the Champions League.
That was the tournament in which Sevilla took part in the first half of the current campaign, but a third-place finish in their group (behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund) saw them drop down into the Europa League.
Sevilla have spent much of this season looking nervously over their shoulders at the La Liga relegation zone. They have now banished such worries, but for a while demotion looked like a genuine possibility. Thankfully for the Rojiblancos, Jose Luis Mendilibar steadied the ship after he replaced Jorge Sampaoli in March.
He did more than that in the Europa League. Sevilla eliminated Manchester United in the quarter-finals with a 5-2 aggregate win, then squeezed past Juventus 3-2 in the semis. They are now potentially 90 minutes away from a seventh Europa League crown.
Roma will not let Sevilla have anything the easy way at the Puskas Arena. And whereas their opponents will feel confident due to the club’s track record in the Europa League, Roma’s players can take belief from their manager’s history in continental competition.
Jose Mourinho is no longer an elite head coach. He has not won a league title since lifting the Premier League trophy with Chelsea in 2014/15. His last Champions League success came back in 2010 with Inter.
But that is not to say Mourinho has enjoyed zero glory in recent times. Just last term he led Roma all the way in the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League, beating Feyenoord in the final. Now he is on the verge of going one better.
Roma have not relied on the exact same methods throughout this season’s competition. The Giallorossi turned on the style in a 4-1 thrashing of Feyenoord in the second leg of their quarter-final, even if three of the goals came in extra time.
Yet Roma delivered what is often called a ‘Mourinho masterclass’ last time out. A 1-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico gave the Italian outfit a slender lead to take to Germany, where Bayer Leverkusen awaited.
Xabi Alonso’s side proceeded to dominate possession and create the better chances in the semi-final second leg, but Roma would not budge. A 0-0 draw at the BayArena was enough to send them through to the final at Leverkusen’s expense.
The danger of playing a negative style of soccer is that it leaves very little margin for error. What is more, Mourinho is liable to be criticised if his reactive approach does not bring home the trophy. Do not expect him to change, however.
There are two interesting things to note ahead of the final. One is that there is more than just silverware up for grabs for both sides. Sevilla missed out on a top-four finish in La Liga and Roma will not finish in the top four of Serie A. Europa League glory for either team would offer another route into the Champions League.
More specifically in terms of the match itself, it will be intriguing to see how both sides fare at a neutral ground. Sevilla have not won any of their seven away games in Europe this season, while Roma have not triumphed at a stadium other than the Olimpico in the knockout phase.
The biggest question is whether Sevilla will be able to play with the same intensity and energy that they do at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. If they get bogged down by Roma’s tactics, that will suit Mourinho’s charges.
It would be a surprise if either Sevilla or Roma won this match comfortably. But the former’s firepower could give them the edge, especially as there are doubts over the fitness of Roma’s star attacker, Paulo Dybala. Go for a Sevilla win in this one.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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