Chelsea and Tottenham boost all-English Europa League final hope
With English Premier League sides accounting for almost half the remaining teams at the Europa League quarter-final stage, an all-English final looks a distinct possibility.
Ladbrokes are offering punters the chance to bet on such an occurrence, and it is 13/8 that two English sides square off in the Amsterdam Arena final.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle make up the trio of remaining Premier League outfits, and a piece of recent history appears to enhance each club’s credentials of making the final two.
In the past two years, when one country has had three entrants participating at the quarter-final stage, two of that nations’ outfits have gone on to contest the final.
Indeed, England is the only country to have more than one representative remaining in this year’s competition, which would appear to bolster the chances of the Blues, Spurs and Magpies significantly.
Favourable last-eight draws will also instill patriotic punters with confidence, in at least two of the remaining sides’ cases.
Rafa Benitez’ Chelsea take on European novices Rubin, who will be participating at the quarter-final stage for the first time.
And the Blues will take the competition seriously, as victory in it would ensure they become the first ever British side to lift the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Meanwhile, Tottenham represent the only remaining club in the tournament to have previously won it, and will hold no fears opposing Swiss side FC Basel.
Like Chelsea, Spurs will opt for their strongest team possible in light of Andre Villas-Boas’ fondness for the tournament, which he won as Porto boss in 2011.
With Gareth Bale at his disposal, the White Hart Lane chief can be confident of another tilt at European success this season.
And although Newcastle look to have a mountainous task in overcoming Benfica, it is plausible to suggest they can do so, in light of their stern recent European defensive record.
The Toon have not conceded in their past four Europa League outings, and are unbeaten at St. James’s Park in Europe this term.
As the Magpies undoubtedly possess a weaker squad than both Chelsea and Tottenham however, punters investing in an all-English final should hope the latter two sides avoid each other at the semi-final stage, even if all three make the final four of the competition.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.