Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
We’re into the last couple of weeks of the 2022/23 season, which means clubs are fighting it out for the biggest prizes on offer. Planting the World Cup in the middle of the season means things are finishing a little later than usual, but by mid-June, all Europe’s major trophies will be handed out.
With a busy run of finals to come, we’ve taken a look ahead to the showpiece clashes of the 2022/23 campaign to pick out the sides who will finish the season on a high in our annual Finals Accumulator.
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The Finals Accumulator
Luton Town vs Coventry City
Championship Playoff Final – Saturday, 27th May
The Premier League running through to the end of May has slightly overshadowed playoff final weekend, but all eyes will be on Wembley on Saturday for the richest game in football.
Championship playoff finals tend to be quite cagey affairs with so much on the line and that’s likely to be the case between these two sides. However, Luton have played well enough for automatic promotion under Rob Edwards and they have the second-best record across the second division in 2023.
They meet a Coventry side who failed to win away to any of the top 10 in the regular season and I expect them to fall just short against a team who were unbeaten in 14 games as they finished up in third.
Luton to win promotion
Sevilla vs Roma
Europa League Final – Wednesday, 31st May
While this is Sevilla’s trophy, they are coming up against a European force in Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager led Roma to a historic European triumph in the Europa Conference League last term, his ninth victory in 12 major cup finals as a manager.
Mourinho has won all of his five previous European finals, having won the Europa League/UEFA Cup twice. His side have very clearly been focusing on this competition, with the manager bemoaning the late decision to dock Juventus 10 points given they could have been in Serie A’s top four race had they not focused on this competition.
Roma see this as their route into the Champions League, while they have a tight-knit group of players who have recent experience of winning a European trophy. While Sevilla are synonymous with this competition, they’ve had a rough year domestically, scoring fewer goals than second-bottom Espanyol. That should play perfectly into the hands of Mourinho.
Roma to lift the trophy
RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt
DFB Pokal Final – Saturday, 3rd June
Leipzig are finishing the campaign in great fashion, but Germany’s newest force have a questionable history in big games like this. They’ve lost two of their previous three DFB Pokal finals, while Freiburg missed a golden chance against them a year ago, losing the final on penalties.
Eintracht Frankfurt haven’t kicked on in the Bundesliga this term, but they did win the Europa League a year ago and that experience is a huge boost to their chances in this one. They head into the clash as underdogs, but their 4-0 victory over Leipzig earlier in the campaign suggests this will be closer, as does the fact that Frankfurt have lost only one of the last eight meetings between the pair.
Frankfurt to lift the trophy
Fiorentina vs West Ham
Europa Conference League Final – Wednesday, 7th June
West Ham have marched into the Europa Conference League final in style, but the clash in Prague brings the biggest test they’ve faced so far. The most troubling opposition the Hammers have faced have been teams from Belgium and the Netherlands, having avoided any side from Europe’s top five leagues.
Fiorentina’s path to the final has been bumpier than West Ham’s, but la Viola have proven themselves as an excellent cup side this term. They reached the Coppa Italia final alongside this one, while they’ve been consistently midtable in Serie A through the campaign. While the Hammers are on a great run, their problems have been evident domestically and they fell short in Europe last season as the pressure grew.
David Moyes has had a solid managerial career but he’s yet to win silverware. With a resilient Fiorentina side meeting them in the final, back more Italian success in this competition.
Fiorentina to lift the trophy
Manchester City vs Inter Milan
Champions League Final – Saturday, 10th June
I’m stopping just shy of an Italian hat-trick in Europe this term, as Manchester City are just too strong to oppose. The Citizens have the Premier League in the bag as they chase a treble, while they’re looking to win the Champions League for the first time ever. Manager Pep Guardiola is also aiming to end a 12-year wait for his third win in this competition, having underperformed in Europe at Bayern Munich and City.
Inter Milan’s run to this stage has been entertaining but it’s hard to escape the idea that we’ll pay for that with a one-sided final. The Nerazzurri are being slightly underestimated, they remain a genuine Serie A title contender and they possess depth beyond any other Italian side right now. However, no team in Europe has the quality on the pitch and in reserve quite like City right now.
Guardiola’s side have been sweeping all before them and Inter are surely next.
Man City to lift the trophy
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