So, this Europa League final may be witnessed by about 14 people and a herd of goats, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.
There may be no infrastructure to accommodate people to travel to Baku; there may be minimal football interest in the country itself; its political tensions may mean that one of the key players in Arsenal squad can’t even travel – but, look – it doesn’t stop one thing.
That’s you winning money from an overpriced selection. All aboard!
Chelsea (-2) – 10/1
It might seem far-fetched, but bear with me.
Away from home comforts, Arsenal have conceded 35 times this year. That’s more than Brighton and Hove Albion shipped all campaign.
Chelsea managed to hit three or more goals on nine separate occasions in the Premier League, including a 3-2 win over Arsenal on the second day of the season.
Without ‘MKH’, Arsenal do lack creativity and if they’re to lean on Mesut Ozil to keep the ball, it usually goes one of two ways.
For these reasons, Chelsea to win by three goals or more probably isn’t the worst bet you could wager on the night, given the price.
David Luiz: Anytime Goalscorer – 14/1
As a man who had ‘Big Dave’ in his fantasy team, I can assure you that despite his obvious flaws as a footballer and a hair model, Luiz has his value.
Not only does he contribute on the end of set pieces into the box, but he also takes free kicks in particularly central locations. This means that 14/1 is a fine price to have a bet on if you’re that way inclined.
Chelsea haven’t had a better player at attacking a ball since Ivanovic left and they often design set pieces to get him into space at the back post.
You can picture it now: filling the vast vacuum that is the absent Baku atmosphere, is a handful of hair that needs a good seeing to from a razor flying through the humid air, hurrying towards a floated corner, before making contact with the accommodating forehead of David Luiz, handing Chelsea a deserved lead in one of the most bizarre European cup finals of all time.
Death, taxes and David Luiz receiving unfair criticism from the internet. Prove them wrong, son. You do you.
Both Teams to Score from Outside the Box – 22/1
Eden Hazard shoots from everywhere, and Chelsea have one of the best overlapping full backs in the league in Marco Alonso.
They’ve also got a lot of options from set pieces, whether it be Eden Hazard or David Luiz. Both of these goalkeepers are also prone to a howler or two, which will only boost the viability of this landing.
I’m telling you, the order of the day is to shoot on sight and set pieces are your friend here with a bizarrely overpriced niche market.
It’ll also afford you the right to shout ‘shooooooot!’ every time anyone gets the ball past the halfway line. I’m sure you’ll be the talk of the living room.
* All odds correct at time of posting.