Cup Finals Preview

With major European leagues completed last weekend, their inaugural domestic cup finals will close the season. There are six major trophies to be decided this weekend among Europe’s most prominent footballing nations. Bar Spain and England, we cover the two Portuguese Cup Finals, the German Cup Final as well as the French showpiece, looking to guide you to the best value on offer this weekend.

Friday 29th May

Portugal League Cup Final
Maritimo 77/10 | Draw 37/10 | Benfica 7/20 
The Portuguese League Cup final will kick-off on Friday night with giants Benfica coming up against Maritimo in the city of Coimbra. Benfica celebrated their 34th league crown last weekend with a resounding victory 4-1 victory over Maritimo at their Estadio da Luz. Brazilians Lima and Jonas scored two goals each for the champions, much to the delight of the 60,532 fans who watched on as Benfica were presented with the trophy post-match. The attacking duo finished behind Porto’s Jackson Martinez in the leagues goalscoring charts, as Jonas accumulated 20 goals for the season, one behind Martinez, while Lima managed 19. Maritimo’s loss at Benfica meant they had to settle for ninth spot, but they have an opportunity to end their season on a high by claiming silverware. Twenty years after last making a domestic cup final, MarĂ­timo are again in a showpiece event thanks to a 2-1 victory over Porto in the semi-finals of the competition back in April. The Eagles earned their place in the final with a com comprehensive 3-0 whipping of Vitoria Setubal. They are the defending champions of this tournament, beating Rio Ave 2-0 in last year’s final. Benfica were dominant over Maritimo in both league meetings this season, winning 4-0 away before their 4-1 victory last weekend. Benfica are available at 7/20 for the win. Those looking for some value should back Benfica To Win Both Halves, available at a tempting 18/10. 

Saturday 29th May

German DFB Pokal Final
Dortmund 5/4 | Draw 23/10 | Wolfsburg 19/10
Borussia Dortmund have a chance of ending their disappointing season with a consolation trophy as they face Wolfsburg in the cup final to be held at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Dortmund will also be eager to give Jurgen Klopp a perfect send-off with one last piece of silverware after seven successful years as coach. They have a difficult task in beating Wolfsburg, who finished runners-up to league champions Bayern Munich. BVB ended the season in seventh place, a massive 23 points off Wolfsburg. The Wolves booked their place in the final by defeating giantkillers Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 in their semi-final. Germany U-21 striker Maximilian Arnold scored Wolfsburg's first and last goals in a clinical team display to end Bielefeld's impressive cup run. Brazil's Luiz Gustavo and Croatia's Ivan Perisic also got on the scoresheet at Bielefeld's sold-out Schuco Arena as the third division leaders were punished for defensive lapses. Dortmund had a much more difficult run to the final than their opponents did. They were pitted against Bayern in the semi’s and managed a penalty shootout victory over the Bavarians. Robert Lewandowski put Bayern in front and they appeared to be cruising until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leveled in the 75th minute. Dortmund failed to beat Wolfsburg in both league meetings this season, losing 2-1 away and drawing 1-1 at Signal Iduna Park. However, Dortmund come into the match as favourites and also knocked Wolfsburg out of this tournament last season, winning 2-0 in a semi-final encounter. Dortmund went on to lose the final to Bayern but Jurgen Klopp is likely not to repeat a consecutive final defeat, especially this being his last game in charge of his beloved team. The Black and Yellows are on offer at 5/4. 

Coupe de France Final
Auxerre 13/1 | Draw 5/1 | PSG 2/11 
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain will take on Ligue 2’s Auxerre in the Coupe de France to be held at the neutral venue of the Stade de France in Paris this weekend. A win for PSG will see them claim a domestic treble, after also winning the Coupe de la Ligue back in April. Auxerre finished ninth in Ligue 2 after failing to win once in their last seven games. PSG celebrated their third consecutive Ligue 1 title in style last Saturday, with a 3-2 win over Stade de Reims at their Parc des Princes.The result confirmed Les Parisiens’ eight-point winning margin over Lyon and keeps them in great form ahead of this final as they have won their last nine league encounters.  Auxerre scraped their way to the final. They started the tournament with a 1-0 win away to fourth tier side Jura Sud, then had to win via penalty shootouts against third tier Le PoirĂ©-sur-Vie, In the quarter-finals they faced fellow Ligue 2 team Brest and came away with another penalty shootout victory before ousting Guingamp 1-0 at home in the semi-finals. PSG had a much trickier road to the final, beating fellow Ligue 1 sides Bordeaux, Nantes, Monaco and Saint Etienne. PSG are a banker bet here, but are priced up too short. Back PSG to be the Only Team To Score at 7/10. 

Sunday 30th May

Taca de Portugal Final
Sporting CP 21/20 | Draw 22/10 | Sporting Braga 26/10 
Sporting CP, better known as Sporting Lisbon, will go head-to-head with Sporting Braga to claim the last piece of silverware on offer in Portugal on Sunday. Lisbon are traditionally the best team behind the leagues giants, Benfica and Porto. Braga finished fourth in the league standings, 18 points off third place Lisbon. With the latter winning both league encounters between the sides this campaign. Both these sides were responsible for knocking out ‘The Big 2’, with Sporting ousting Porto 3-1 on the road and Braga getting one over Benfica, also away from home. The Grren and Whites of Lisbon are the form team coming into the final as they finished their league season unbeaten in their last 11 matches, while Braga recorded just one victory in their last six league encounters. Sporting Lisbon have won the last four matches between the sides and are tipped to lift the trophy at the National Stadium with a win in regular time. 

*All betting is for 90 minute market

Cup Final Picks
Benfica WIN BOTH HALVES 18/10
Dortmund WIN 5/4
Sporting CP WIN 21/20

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!