As we wave goodbye to another Premier League season, we now turn our attention to the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup Final.
Who will reign supreme in 2017? We ask our three resident experts (Adrian Clarke, Dan Roebuck and Iain Spragg) for their predictions. If you think you can predict the outcome of each cup, why not try one of our Enchanced Accas?
UEFA Champions League Final
The two best teams in Europe have made it to the showpiece, but for me the Italians are the more rounded and tactically astute side under Max Allegri. I fear the holders’ jinx will strike Real Madrid in Cardiff, but it will be a very close run thing.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1-2 Juventus (AET)
Real Madrid have faced down every single challenge that has been thrown at them in this season’s Champions League. Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Napoli were all despatched in the knockouts stages – the latter beaten home and away (something Juventus failed to do this term). Max Allegri’s side have the best defensive unit in Europe, but Los Blancos have scored in 63 consecutive games – a continental record – and will become the first club to lift back-to-back Champions League titles.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
With five goals in the massacre of Bayern Munich in the quarter-final, not to mention a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the last four, Cristiano Ronaldo is on fire in Europe. However, the gnarled Juventus defence is the meanest in the business, conceding just three times in 12 games en route to the final. Stop the prolific Portuguese and the Italians can win their claim European crown.
Prediction: Real Madrid 0 Juventus 1
You can bet on the Champions League Final with Grosvenor Sport.
UEFA Europa League Final
I think it would be hilarious if, after putting all his eggs in the Europa League basket, Jose Mourinho blew it against a young, enterprising Dutch side; however, I sense United’s superior experience will come into play. Ajax are lovely to watch, but naïve at the back.
Prediction: Man United 3-1 Ajax
Jose Mourinho has taken five different teams to 13 previous finals in his managerial career and has come away without a trophy just twice. His win percentage when it really matters 85%. The Portuguese is a past master of getting the job done at the business end and that’s why Manchester United will beat a young and vibrant Ajax side in Stockholm. Throw in the fact he has won six games out of six when he’s led a team against the Dutch club, and you get the sense Mourinho’s know-how will see United home.
Prediction: Man United 1-0 Ajax
Jose Mourinho has bet the farm – and his reputation – on Europa League glory this season and his Plan B for Champions League qualification can ill afford to fail. It’s a significant gamble that now rests on 90 minutes in Sweden and although they haven’t won a European trophy since 1995, Ajax pose a real threat to a United side which still lacks teeth in the final third.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Ajax
You can bet on the Europa League with Grosvenor Sport.
FA Cup Final
The Gunners come into this in fine form and will be buoyed by a solid Wembley record, but they need a below par Chelsea side to turn up in the final. The Blues are physically stronger and a more streetwise team. Arsenal will have to play superbly to prevent a Chelsea Double.
Prediction: Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
Arsene Wenger’s love affair with the FA Cup is well documented. The Frenchman will inch one clear of George Ramsey as the manager who has lifted the trophy on the most occasions should the Gunners beat Chelsea. Contrast that to Antonio Conte’s almost embarrassing lack of success in knockout competitions – he failed to win the Coppa Italia despite lifting the Serie A title three times. With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil rediscovering their form, Wenger is taken to confirm cup superiority over the Italian.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Surprisingly only the sixth ever all-London FA Cup final, the contrasting fortunes of the two teams this season make for an intriguing clash as Chelsea look to complete the double. Can Arsenal save face after a dismal season? Antonio Conte’s side is superior in every department but no manager has won more FA Cups than Arsene Wenger.
Prediction: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2
You can bet on the FA Cup with Grosvenor Sport.
Think you can predict who will win each trophy? Why not try one of our Enhanced Accas?
Marcus Rashford to score the first goal in regular time: 11/2
Real Madrid to win 2-1 in regular time: 10/1
For more football odds, take a look at Grosvenor Sport’s football betting.