Welcome to the first in a series of articles that will look at this season’s UEFA Club competition finals, starting with the Europa Conference League Final.

This year’s tournament will see English side West Ham United taking on the Italians Fiorentina at the Eden Arena in Prague, Czechia.

It has been an extraordinary tournament in many ways with a number of big name teams vying to follow AS Roma into the history books as the second winner of UEFA’s newest club competition.

And of course, there are already plenty of punters interested in having a bet in what will be West Ham’s first European final since 1976, as well as Fiorentina’s first since 1990.

The Italians will become the first team to have appeared in all of the four UEFA club competitions having done so in the Champions League/European Cup, UEFA Cup/Europa League, the now defunct Cup Winners Cup and the new Europa Conference League.

Both teams have won just one European trophy in its past, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, with West Ham winning in 1965 and Fiorentina in 1961.

Let’s now preview the final, as well as the two teams competing in it, in more detail.

UEFA Europa Conference League Final

Fiorentina v West Ham United

  • Date – Wednesday 7th June 2023
  • Venue – Eden Park, Prague, Czechia
  • Kick Off Time – 8.00pm
  • Referee – Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain)
  • Live On – BT Sport

After an exciting Europa Conference League campaign, two former Cup Winners Cup winners will meet in the second Europa Conference League Final in Prague on Wednesday 7th June.

Italian side Fiorentina make their first European Final appearance since 1990 against a West Ham side who last appeared in just such a final back in 1976.

Let’s now take a look at how both teams qualified for the final.

The Road to Prague – Fiorentina

  • Playoff Round – 1st Leg – Fiorentina 2-1 FC Twente (Gonzalez 2, Cabral 31)
  • Playoff Round – 2nd Leg – FC Twente 0-0 Fiorentina

After defeating FC Twente narrowly in the playoff round, Fiorentina were drawn into Group A alongside Latvian side SK RFS, Scottish team Hearts of Midlothian and Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.

  • Group Stage Match 1 – v SK RFS (H) – D 1-1 (Barak 56)
  • Group Stage Match 2 – v Istanbul Basaksehir (A) – L 0-3
  • Group Stage Match 3 – v Hearts (A) – W 3-0 (Mandragora 4, Kouame 42, Jovic 79)
  • Group Stage Match 4 – v Hearts (H) – W 5-1 (Jovic 6, Biraghi 22, Gonzalez 32,79p, Barak 38)
  • Group Stage Match 5 – v Istanbul Basaksehir (H) – W 2-1 (Jovic 28,61)
  • Group Stage Match 6 – v SK RFS (A) – W 3-0 (Barak 7, Cabral 44, Saponara 45+2)

Group A Table

  1. Istanbul Basksehir – 13pts (+11)
  2. Fiorentina – 13pts (+8)
  3. Hearts – 6 pts (-10)
  4. FK RFS – 2pts (-9)

Fiorentina finished second in the group on their head-to-head goal difference with Istanbul Basaksehir, ostensibly due to a 3-0 defeat in their away game in Turkey.

That meant that Fiorentina would have to play a Knockout Playoff two-legged tie to advance to the Round of 16.

  • Knockout Playoffs 1st Leg – Braga 0-4 Fiorentina (Jovic 45+1,60, Cabral 79,90)
  • Knockout Playoffs 2nd Leg – Fiorentina 3-2 Braga (Mandragora 37 Saponara 58, Cabral 83)
  • Round of 16 1st Leg – Fiorentina 1-0 Sivasspor (Barak 69)
  • Round of 16 2nd Leg – Sivasspor 1-4 Fiorentina (Cabral 44, Milenkovic 62, Goutas 78og, Castrovilli 79)
  • Quarter Finals 1st Leg – Lech Poznan 1-4 Fiorentina (Cabral 4, Gonzalez 41, Bonaventura 58, Ikone 63)
  • Quarter Finals 2nd Leg – Fiorentina 2-3 Lech Poznan (Sottil 78, Castrovilli 90+2)
  • Semi Finals 1st Leg – Fiorentina 1-2 FC Basel (Cabral 25)
  • Semi Finals 2nd Leg – FC Basel 1-3 Fiorentina (Gonzalez 35,72, Barak 120+10) AET

Conference League RecordPlayed – 16, Won – 11, Drew – 2, Lost – 3, For – 38, Against – 17

Fiorentina Squad

Squad numbers shown in brackets.

Goalkeepers

  • (1) Pietro Terracciano
  • (31) Michele Cerofolini
  • (56) Salvatore Sirigu

Defenders

  • (2) Dodo
  • (3) Cristiano Biraghi (Cap)
  • (4) Nikola Milenkovic
  • (15) Aleksa Terzic
  • (16) Luca Ranieri
  • (23) Lorenzo Venuti (Vice Cap)
  • (28) Lucas Quarta
  • (98) Igor

Midfielders

  • (5) Giacomo Bonaventure (3rd Cap)
  • (8) Riccardo Saponara
  • (10) Gaetano Castrovilli
  • (32) Alfred Duncan
  • (34) Fofyan Amrabat
  • (38) Rolando Mandragora
  • (42) Alessandro Bianco
  • (72) Antonin Barak
  • (77) Josip Brekalo

Attackers

  • (7) Luka Jovic
  • (9) Arthur Cabral
  • (11) Jonathan Ikone
  • (22) Nicolas Gonzalez
  • (33) Riccardo Sottil
  • (99) Christian Kouame

Manager – Vincenzo Italiano

Probable Fiorentina XI – (4-3-3) – GK – Terracciano, DR – Dodo, DL – Biraghi, DC – Igor, DC – Milenkovic, MC – Amrabat, MC – Bonaventura, MC – Castrovilli, AML – Brekalo, AMR – Gonzalez, AC – Cabral

The Road to Prague – West Ham United

Like their opponents, West Ham begun their Europa Conference League campaign in the Preliminary Playoff Round where they were drawn to face Danish side Viborg.

  • Playoff Round – 1st Leg – West Ham 3-1 Viborg (Scamacca 24, Bowen 64, Antonio 78)
  • Playoff Round – 2nd Leg – Viborg 0-3 West Ham (Scamacca 22, Benrahma 51, Soucek 64)

After qualifying for the Group Stage, West Ham were drawn into Group B alongside Belgian side Anderlecht, Romanians Steaua Bucharest and Danish side Silkeborg.

  • Group Stage Match 1 – v Steaua Bucharest (H) – W 3-1 (Bowen 69p, Emerson 74, Antonio 90)
  • Group Stage Match 2 – v Silkeborg (A) – W 3-2 (Lanzini 13p, Scamacca 25, Dawson 38)
  • Group Stage Match 3 – v Anderlecht (A) – W 1-0 (Scamacca 79)
  • Group Stage Match 4 – v Anderlecht (H) – W 2-1 (Benrahma 14, Bowen 30)
  • Group Stage Match 5 – v Silkeborg (H) – W 1-0 (Lanzini 24p)
  • Group Stage Match 6 – v Steaua Bucharest (A) – W 3-0 (Fornals 40,65, Dawa 56 og)

Group B Table

  1. West Ham – 18pts (+9)
  2. Anderlecht – 8pts (+1)
  3. Silkeborg – 6 pts (+5)
  4. Steaua Bucharest – 2pts (-15)

West Ham topped the group with maximum points from their six games earning a bye into the Round of 16 in the knockout phase.

  • Round of 16 1st Leg –AEK Larnaca 0-2 West Ham (Antonio 36,45+2)
  • Round of 16 2nd Leg – West Ham 4-0 AEK Larnaca (Scamacca 21, Bowen 46,49, Mubama 65)
  • Quarter Finals 1st Leg – Gent 1-1 West Ham (Ings 45+3)
  • Quarter Finals 2nd Leg – West Ham 4-1 Gent (Antonio 37,63, Paqueta 56p, Rice 58)
  • Semi Finals 1st Leg – West Ham 2-1 AZ Alkmaar (Benrahma 67p, Antonio 76)
  • Semi Finals 2nd Leg – AZ Alkmaar 0-1 West Ham (Fornals 90+4)

Conference League RecordPlayed – 14, Won – 13, Drew – 1, Lost – 0, For – 33, Against – 8

West Ham United Squad

Squad numbers shown in brackets.

Goalkeepers

  • (1) Lukas Fabianski (3rd Capt)
  • (13) Alphonse Areola
  • (47) Krisztian Hegyi
  • (49) Joseph Anang

Defenders

  • (2) Ben Johnson
  • (3) Aaron Cresswell (Vice Capt)
  • (4) Kurt Zouma
  • (5) Vladimir Coufal
  • (21) Angelo Ogbonna (4th Capt)
  • (24) Thilo Kehrer
  • (27) Nayef Aguerd
  • (33) Emerson Palmieri
  • (37) Luizao
  • (53) Levi Laing
  • (70) Kaelan Casey
  • (75) Jamal Baptiste

Midfielders

  • (8) Pablo Fornals
  • (10) Manuel Lanzini
  • (11) Lucas Paqueta
  • (12) Flynn Downes
  • (14) Maxwell Cornet
  • (22) Said Benrahma
  • (28) Tomas Soucek
  • (41) Declan Rice (Capt)
  • (51) Daniel Chesters
  • (59) Keenan Forson
  • (62) Freddie Potts

Attackers

  • (7) Gianluca Scamacca
  • (9) Michail Antonio (5th Capt)
  • (18) Danny Ings
  • (20) Jarrod Bowen
  • (40) Armstrong Oko-Flex
  • (72) Divin Mubama

Manager – David Moyes

Probable West Ham XI – (4-3-3) – GK – Areola, DR – Kehrer, DL – Cresswell, DC – Zouma, DC – Aguerd, DMC – Rice, MC – Paqueta, MC – Soucek, AMR – Bowen, AML – Benarahma, AC – Antonio

What Are The Bets To Back For the Europa Conference League Final?

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This should be a very exciting tie between a team that is unbeaten in this competition this season, drawing one and winning 13 of their 14 ties, against a team whose home form is markedly inferior to their away form.

In head to head games, the teams have met twice, Fiorentina winning both games 1-0 and I can see this final also being a somewhat edgy and cagey affair.

Both of these teams have saved their best performances of this season for this competition so it should be a close final.

My first bet to back is the draw, which is a 9/4 chance as I think both teams are well-matched and for the correct score, I would back the 1-1 option which is a 5/1 shot with bet365 Sport.

As for who will win, I would not be surprised to see penalties decide the outcome here and if that is the case, I would just about go with West Ham, but it is a 51/49 decision.

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