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Europa League Betting Odds – Outright Winner
To win UEFA Europa League; Best odds bold; Each-Way Place Terms: 1/2 odds 1,2.
|Rapid Vienna (Am)||125/1||100/1|
Champions League Dropouts Dominate Europa League Odds
Three teams who have dropped down from the Champions League feature prominently in the bookies’ Europa League odds to lift the 2017-18 trophy, writes Nick.
While only four of the last 10 Europa League winners have been sides eliminated from their Champions League groups, at least one such team has reached the final in nine of the last 10. The quality of the teams coming out of that competition this year suggests a repeat is likely.
Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund were both in the second pot of seeds in the Champions League, while Napoli had the best coefficient ranking of the teams in pot three.
Atletico join a strong Spanish contingent, which also features Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Villarreal. The country has provided five of the last eight winners of the competition and at least one semi-finalist in seven of the last eight seasons. Atletico won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012 – the latter being the first trophy of Diego Simeone’s ongoing reign as head coach – and winter reinforcements will again make them contenders.
Dortmund endured a difficult first half of the season but still have a good squad and could put a deep run together if they are able to progress past a potentially tricky last-32 tie against Atalanta. They and fellow Champions League demotees RB Leipzig represent the only remaining German participants after Hertha Berlin, Koln and Hoffenheim were eliminated during the the group stage.
It is necessary to go back to the mid-nineties to find the last time a team from Germany or Italy won the Europa League or its predecessor the UEFA Cup. Yet both Napoli and AC Milan rank among the top-five favourites with the majority of top UK online bookmakers. They are polar opposites. Napoli have a well-established, attractive and collective style of play under Maurizio Sarri; Milan are a collection of good individuals still searching for a clear identity.
Lazio could be a solid outside bet after a strong opening half of the season, both domestically and in Europe. How much priority they give to the competition will depend on how realistic a top-four finish looks as the Serie A campaign progresses. With a Champions League place now on offer for the Europa League winners, an opportunity Manchester United took advantage of by winning last year’s competition, there is more incentive to treat it seriously.
Arsenal, vying for favouritism in the bookies’ Europa League odds, began the season in this tournament and are the only remaining Premier League side following the group-stage elimination of Everton. They reached the final of the competition in their last appearance back in 2000 and although recent Champions League campaigns indicate they will find the knockout stages more difficult than their group, they have enough quality in their ranks to put together a good run under the right conditions.
No French side has ever won the Europa League or UEFA Cup and it has been 13 years since a team from the country last reached the final. Lyon came close before falling to Ajax in a thrilling semi-final last season and are again the most likely to go far this time around, although defensive frailties largely equalise the potency of their attack. Nice and Marseille both made it through their groups and the latter, in particular, could surprise.
Portuguese teams generally perform well in the Europa League and after a decent showing in a difficult Champions League group, Sporting can be expected to go further than initial entrants Braga.
Outside of western and central Europe, there are a quartet of Russian entrants who will be hoping to make good progress. Zenit topped their group with an undefeated record, have a good coach in Roberto Mancini and some quality players, with a strong Argentinian influence. They won the competition in 2008 and will be testing last-32 opponents for an attack-minded Celtic. Moscow clubs CSKA, Lokomotiv and Spartak also have their strengths.
Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev topped their group and score plenty of goals but are unlikely to go further than the last 16. Czech side Viktoria Plzen will hope to surprise by going that far themselves, although a relatively even tie against Partizan could see them eliminated earlier.
- Keep close tabs on the Europa League betting comparison table above as the tournament progresses.