So can Rafael Benitez end his spell at Stamford Bridge by winning a major trophy? We will find out tonight when his Chelsea team take on Portuguese giants Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam.
It has been a controversial and eventful ‘interim’ spell in charge for Benitez, but it could yet have a happy ending if the Spaniard can steer the Blues to the trophy tonight before he leaves the club next week.
Chelsea are the 7/5 favourites to win in 90 minutes, with the draw at 23/10 and Benfica a 37/20 chance. The west Londoners are 13/20 to lift the trophy by any means, while you can back Jorge Jesus’ side to do so at 11/10.
But before you have a bet, make sure you take a look at these ten key statistics that will tell you everything you need to know about the big match.
1: Chelsea got the better of Benfica in both of their previous meetings in last season’s Champions League, winning by a single goal twice (1-0 and 2-1). It is 29/10 for Chelsea to win by one goal.
2: The last two major trophies won by Benitez, the 2005 Champions League and the 2006 FA Cup with Liverpool, were both secured on penalties. It is 9/1 for Chelsea to lift the Europa League after a penalty shoot-out, just as they did in last year’s Champions League final.
4: Chelsea’s last five Europa League fixtures have all seen at least four goals scored. It is 23/10 for over 3.5 goals tonight.
5: The number of goals Fernando Torres has scored in his last five Europa League appearances. The Spanish striker is 11/2 to score first in Amsterdam.
6: Six of Benfica’s last nine games have seen under 2.5 goals scored. You can bet on the same happening again in Amsterdam at 39/50.
8: Oscar Cardozo has struck eight goals in Europe this season. The Paraguayan striker is 13/2 to score first.
11: The number of times in Chelsea’s last 15 games in all competitions that both teams have scored. You can back that outcome with bwin at 7/10.
19: Juan Mata has scored 19 goals in league and cup this season, and the Spaniard is 9/4 to score his 20th against Benfica.
33.3: The percentage of Chelsea’s Europa League goals that come in the 15 minutes after half-time, while Benfica are yet to score in that period in the competition. It is 16/5 for Chelsea to score between half-time and the 60th minute.
34: Chelsea have scored 34 goals in their last 17 games in league and cup, an average of exactly two goals per match. It is 13/5 for the Blues to keep up that average against the Portuguese outfit.