In this article…
Now in its second season, the Europa Conference League has been a resounding success, proving so popular that UEFA have been forced to change the rules surrounding the minimum stadium capacity for finals. From next season the minimum stadium capacity for the final venue must be over 30,000, however this year just 19,370 fans will be in Prague watching, with each team getting just 4,890 tickets each. Despite this over 20,000 West Ham fans are expected to travel to Prague.
To mark this occasion, we’ve got an in-depth look at the stats for Fiorentina v West Ham via our famous Cheat Sheet, highlighting the value to be found via the refereeing appointment (spoiler alert: he can be quite card-happy in European games), anytime goalscorer tips, shot on target predictions and fouls fancies.
Both bet builders we have for this game will feature on Paddy Power. Sign up to Paddy Power and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £30 on the Europa Conference League Final bet builder to maximise the value for this offer available ONLY to new customers.
Journey to the final: Hammer’s heroes hope to create history
For West Ham, this is a chance for a first major trophy in 43 years and a first European trophy since 1965. West Ham started in this competition all the way back in August where they beat Viborg 6-1 on aggregate to progress to the group stage. From there they absolutely walked their group, winning all 6 matches while scoring 13 and conceding just 4. West Ham then beat the Cypriots AEK Larnaca in the last 16 and knocked out Gent with a 5-2 aggregate win in the quarter-finals. Their semi-final against AZ was full of drama off the pitch, but on the pitch, a late Pablo Fornals goal in the second leg secured West Ham a place in the final.
Journey to the final: Italians looking to end trophy drought
Fiorentina haven’t won a trophy since 2001 when they won the Italian Cup, and haven’t won a European trophy since a European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961. La Viola entered the competition in the final qualification round where they knocked out FC Twente. They struggled more than West Ham in the group stage, finishing 2nd behind Basaksehir with 13 points. However, this was easily enough points for them to qualify for the next stage. They impressively knocked out Braga 7-2 on aggregate in the next round before breezing past Sivasspor.
In the quarter-final, they won the first leg away 4-1 but at home conceded 3 goals to Lech Poznan before half time making it 4-4 on aggregate, but in the second half they got the goals they needed to reach the semi-finals. They didn’t make it any easier for themselves in the semis, losing the first leg at home 2-1 to FC Basel but winning the away leg 2-1 to take it to extra time. Yet there was still one more twist in this tale for Fiorentina in the form of a 120+10 minute winner from substitute Antonín Barák to send them into the final.
Europa Conference League Final Cheat Sheet
The Cheat Sheet above gives a great statistical view of each team domestically ahead of the final. We will be breaking down the major elements of this Cheat Sheet below to dive deeper into those likely to score, have a shot on target and commit fouls. The Cheat Sheet is split in half with the teams on separate sides, it then shows the highest performers for each team for key metrics that are available to bet on.
🟨 Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
The referee for this match is the experienced Carlos del Cerro Grande. Del Cerro has worked his way up in the refereeing world and will referee his first-ever European final here and just his second-ever final. Del Cerro has averaged 3.74 yellow cards per 90 this season and a fairly card-happy 4.72 per 90 across his whole career.
He doesn’t seem to change his approach in big matches either, as over the last 5 seasons he has averaged 4.33 cards per 90 in semi-finals and finals. He has a lot of European experience and has refereed 6 Champions League matches already this season averaging 4.33 cards per game. He has not refereed any matches involving these clubs before (with him usually refereeing domestic matches in Spain) but did referee the Europa Conference League semi-final between Leicester and Roma last season.
🥅 Goalscorers: Arthur and Antonio could be difference makers
West Ham have a number of goalscorers to choose from, Bowen and Benrahma have got 6 each in the league but Benrahma has just 2 in the Conference League so far this season. Antonio actually has more Conference League goals than Premier League goals this season with 6 goals in the Conference League, so with his form in the competition this year he is certainly one to look out for in the final.
Fiorentina’s goals do seem very focused on just a few players just looking at the Cheat Sheet but they have 4 players with 5 or more goals in the Conference League. Gonzalez, Barak, and Jovic have all been goalscorers for Fiorentina but Arthur Cabral is no doubt their main man. He is their top scorer in the league and is the joint top scorer in the Conference League, with only Basel’s Amdouni having as many goals.
Benrahma and Bowen share set-piece duties for West Ham but Benrahma would likely be preferred on penalties in this match while Gonzalez and Arthur share penalty responsibilities for Fiorentina whereas Biraghi is their man from free-kicks.
It is a tough toss-up between Antonio and Arthur for who is most likely to score and unsurprisingly the bookies have them at exactly the same odds. Arthur also being on penalties gives him a slight advantage in a tight match and therefore we recommend Arthur Cabral to score anytime in this match.
🥅 Load Arthur Cabral to score anytime on Paddy Power
🎯 Shot on target: Nicolas Gonzalez the standout man
West Ham don’t have many players with high shots on target counts in the Premier League, only Said Benrahma averages at least 1 shot on target per 90 for them this season. However, in the Europa Conference League, they have several players averaging a lot of shots on target. Fornals, Antonio and Scamacca all average over 1.7 shots on target per 90 in Europe and Benrahma and Bowen both average around 1 per 90. With Scamacca injured and Fornals likely starting on the bench, it looks like Antonio is their best chance at a shot on target. West Ham’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer has had a shot on target in 6 of his 8 matches where he has played at least 30 minutes in the Conference League and has had at least one shot on target in 4 of his 5 knockout matches.
For Fiorentina, Arthur and Nicolas Gonzalez are the clear favourites for SOTs domestically according to the Cheat Sheet and this carries into Europe. Luka Jovic has averaged the most shots on target per 90 for Fiorentina in the Conference League, however Arthur is expected to start in front of him. Nicolas Gonzalez looks a great option for Fiorentina, he has the ability to get into the box and cause the opposition all sorts of issues, his shots on target per 90 in the league is 1.13 but in the Conference League, it is even better at 1.84 shots on target per 90. Gonzalez has had a shot on target in 8 of his 10 starts in the Conference League this season and in 4 of his last 5 European matches.
West Ham have a lot of players that are dangerous and can have shots on target whereas Fiorentina have just a few players capable of SOTs, therefore it would be more sensible to back Nicolas Gonzalez to have 1+ shot on target.
🎯 Load Nicolas Gonzalez to have a shot on target on Paddy Power
🛑 Fouls: Scrappy match leaves a lot of choices for fouls
West Ham have several players capable of drawing opposition fouls, Antonio is a physical player that can draw a lot of fouls while Bowen’s pace is a big problem for opposition players. Lucas Paqueta is also a player to look out for, Moyes has started to push him further forward recently and he will cause the Fiorentina midfield a lot of issues.
Sofyan Amrabat is Fiorentina’s highest fouler and he is likely to commit at least 1 foul when he is watching the likes of Paqueta and Antonio if he drops deep, however, you are unlikely to get good odds for him to commit just one foul. Nikola Milenkovic will also be a favourite to commit a foul for Fiorentina, he is their 2nd highest fouler and will have to deal with Michail Antonio who draws the most fouls for West Ham, he certainly looks likely to commit a foul but again getting good odds may be difficult.
Fiorentina have a standout player for drawing fouls in Nicolas Gonzalez, the right winger draws 3.67 fouls per match but will be against Cresswell who is not in West Ham’s top 5 foulers. Cresswell commits just 0.36 fouls per 90 but did commit 2 fouls in the first leg against AZ in the semi-final. Jonathan Ikone looks an interesting choice for a foul, he will be up against Coufal who draws 0.89 fouls per 90 and commits 1.26 fouls per 90 himself. However, Ikone has been preferred on the right wing with Gonzalez on the left recently, so if this is the case then they will not be against each other, so this is something to look out for when the line-ups are announced.
The most likely to commit a foul may be Cristiano Biraghi. The Italian is expected to start at left-back for Fiorentina and commits 0.8 fouls per 90. While this is not enough to make him one of Fiorentina’s highest foulers, it is still a common occurrence for him to commit a foul. Biraghi will be up against Jarrod Bowen who draws 1.92 fouls per 90, the second most of any West Ham player. At 1.4, Biraghi represents good value to commit 1+ fouls.
🛑 Load Cristiano Biraghi to commit 1+ foul on Paddy Power
Haven’t got a Paddy Power account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Paddy Power and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £30 on the ANY of our Europa Conference League Final Bets. Here are the two possible outcomes:
18+ please gamble responsibly.