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Intriguing all-Spanish final as Atletico Madrid prepare for Bilbao

| 08.05.2012

Atletico Madrid are aiming to land a second Europa League in three years on Wednesday, as they meet Athletic Bilbao at 11/8 for victory.

In what looks certain to be a captivating tie, Bilbao are 8/5 for success, and will see support from punters after conquering the likes of Manchester United en route to the final.

It is 11/5 that the tie goes to extra time meanwhile, which may be worth taking on bearing in mind that the sides got the better of each other in their two La Liga meetings this term.

As the sides traded victories, the games failed to come to life until the second half on both occasions, with 0-0 scorelines evident by the break each time.

Punters can have 1/1 about the sides being level at half-time on this match, which looks a terrific bet.

The respective attacking threats evident in each side should make for an entertaining match though, as Atletico’s Radamel Falcao squares off against Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente.

After winning the Europa League with Porto last year, Falcao has followed up a record-breaking 18 goals in the competition with another 10 in this year’s tournament.

The Colombian is 5/1 favourite for the opener in Wednesday’s clash, whilst Llorente is afforded an 11/2 chance to break the deadlock.

Bilbao’s number nine will attract support at that price, after a seven goal haul in Europe has seen him stake a claim for a starting berth in the Spanish national side.

Both teams have negotiated a tricky route to the final, disposing of the likes of Valencia and Schalke respectably, to prove very real European credentials.

A slightly disappointing La Liga campaign means that Bilbao must hope to triumph in order to qualify for next season’s competition however, and they may be worth taking on to complete the first leg of a potential double with the Copa del Rey, at 1/1.



John Klee