The stage is set in Cologne for the football Europa League Final. Five-time winners Sevilla will face Inter Milan, who ploughed through their semi-final with a 5-0 win. Michael Owen has looked over the stats and form of both teams and offers his insight ahead of Friday’s final.
Over 2.5 Goals
Sevilla v Inter Milan
Two of the most successful sides in the competition’s history will go head to head in the 2020 final on Friday when three-time winners Inter meet five-time champions Sevilla.
Sevilla are 20 games unbeaten in all competitions, winning eight of their last nine, and have certainly hit form at exactly the right time.
They were very impressive in seeing off an in-form Roma side in the round of 16 and displayed patience and resolve when beating Wolves and then winning from behind against Manchester United.
They certainly know how to get the job done and their experience in this competition could prove invaluable.
For a club that won a historic treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia under José Mourinho in 2010 before adding the Club World Cup in the same year, it’s somewhat surprising that Inter Milan’s only trophy since has been the Coppa Italia in 2011.
However, under Antonio Conte’s management, they look to be back among the European elite. They missed out on the Serie A title to Juventus by just one point. But after thrashing Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in their one-legged semi-final thanks to a brace apiece from strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, their confidence will be sky-high.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored in a record 10 successive UEFA Europa League games and Lautaro Martínez also hit form in the romp against Shakhtar. Lukaku needs two more goals to equal Bruno Fernandes’ record of eight in this season’s competition. And who would bet against him achieving that in the final match of the competition
Antonio Conte’s side will be hard to beat; they boast two of the continent’s most in-form strikers in Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku and that, combined with their miserly defensive record – one goal conceded in seven games – could well give them the edge over Sevilla.
I’m really looking forward to this one and I’m going for an entertaining 2-1 win to Antonio Conte’s men.