Liverpool is the slight soccer betting favorite to win the UEFA Europa League versus Sevilla on Wednesday 18th. The Spanish team is the defending, two-time champion, but has had more luck in cup tournaments than league contests. In addition to reaching UEFA’s second-tier international tourney for the third time in a row – which is and of itself an unparalleled feat –, Sevilla reached the finals of Copa del Rey. However, they finished 7th in the Spanish League and thus were not anywhere near the championship picture that ended this weekend with the predictable outcome of Real Madrid not winning the title – which people who bet on soccer saw coming a mile away.
On the other hand, Liverpool – in its first year under the leadership of German manager Jurgen Klopp also failed to win the Premier League – which trophy went to soccer betting flavor of the month Leicester City – and finished in 8th place. For fans who bet on soccer, this does not imply by any means that what we’ll have is a match between two losers. Quite the contrary; if anything, this only makes the affair even more exciting. Obviously, these two squads will be eager to provide their long-suffering fans the only joy in what will otherwise be a season devoid of successes. Hopefully, they will be willing to tear each other apart to achieve that goal. Should be a doozy.
Both Divock Origi and Jordan Henderson are in contention for the Europa League Final, which is good news for Liverpool’s soccer betting odds. The team captain hadn’t featured since injuring his knee in Dortmund a month ago, while the Belgian forward has been out since tweaking his ankle against Everton last month. Henderson played the last 26 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion. Additionally, Danny Ings came on in the second half to a rapturous ovation from the away support for his first appearance under Klopp since seriously damaging knee ligaments in October. Origi, in the meantime, came through unharmed after training this morning with the expected starting line-up against Sevilla.
This is the first time Liverpool and Sevilla will meet in UEFA competition. Liverpool’s 34 UEFA games against Spanish have ended with 14 wins, 10 draws, and 10 losses, including two wins in neutral turf – and turf does not get more neutral than Switzerland where the final will be held (St. Jakob-Park in Basel). Sevilla’s eight UEFA meetings with English squads have ended with 3 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses. Sevilla won the UEFA Europa League for a record fourth and a second time in a row last season; no team has won three consecutive editions of a major UEFA competition since FC Bayern Munich’s third consecutive European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1975/76.