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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.
Arsenal and AC Milan Head Europa League Odds 2017-18
Arsenal and AC Milan have been installed as the early favourites in the Europa League odds to lift the 2017-18 renewal, writes Nick. Their hopes of doing so will depend on the quality of the teams that drop down from the Champions League ahead of the knockout stages in 2018.
There is not only a trophy on offer for the winners of the competition but a place in next year’s Champions League. While it is a gruelling competition that features two extra matches than the Champions League and usually involves longer away trips, those in particularly competitive domestic leagues may view it as a good route into Europe’s premier competition.
Manchester United defeated Ajax in last season’s final in Sweden to secure themselves direct entry into this year’s Champions League group stage despite a sixth-place finish in the Premier League. They will therefore not have the opportunity to defend their trophy unless that is as far as they go in the Champions League.
The teams that drop down often distort the field. Four of the last 10 Europa League winners have been teams who began their campaigns in the Champions League, while only one of the last 10 finals has featured two teams who started the season in the Europa League. It is therefore difficult to get a proper handle on the likely winner of the competition until the identity of those teams becomes known at the end of 2017.
Of those who will compete in the Europa League from the start, the aforementioned Arsenal and Milan are the only two teams the bookmakers rate at lower than 10/1 in the Europa League outright winner betting odds.
Arsenal reached the final in their last appearance in 2000 and have a lot of Champions League experience, but there are plenty of question marks hanging over their transfer window dealings and manager Arsene Wenger. Milan look better positioned for a strong run after doing good business to rejuvenate their squad under new Chinese ownership.
Spanish teams always perform well in the Europa League. The country has provided five of the last eight winners, while there has been at least one Spanish semi-finalist in seven of the last eight seasons. Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal are perhaps not as strong as they were last season but Real Sociedad are an impressive, possession-based side around whom the only doubt is the depth of their squad.
Everton are back in European action after a two-year absence and have a relatively conservative style of play that should suit knockout football. There are, however, two major concerns: the difficulty of their group and how seriously they will take the competition. They are nevertheless third favourites at a best price, at the time of writing this preview, of 25/1 with the top UK sports betting sites.
Lyon are one of the other sides in Everton’s group. They lost out to Ajax in a thrilling semi-final last season and have enough firepower to mount another serious challenge this time around. No French side has ever won the Europa League or its predecessor the UEFA Cup, but Lyon look better equipped to do so than the country’s other entrants this year, Marseille (the last French finalists in 2004) and Nice.
It is necessary to go back to the nineties to find the last time a German or Italian team won this competition. This year’s German field looks relatively weak aside from Hoffenheim, but Atalanta and Lazio join Milan in making up a strong Italian contingent.
Outside of the traditional powers, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine have all provided Europa League winners over the course of the last 10 seasons.
Portugal’s chances likely rest on which of their teams come into the competition from the Champions League at the end of the year, although group-stage entrants Braga usually show well. If they drop down, Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk are always competitive, while Russia have a strong initial entrant in the form of the interesting, Argentinian-laced project at Zenit Saint-Petersburg.
Ajax were the first Dutch finalists in 15 years last time out but after losing their Champions League qualifier, they also failed to make it past Rosenberg in the last qualifying round for this year’s tournament. PSV Eindhoven and Utrecht fell a round earlier, leaving Vitesse as the only Dutch team in the group stage. They are unlikely to enjoy a particularly deep run.
Belgium provided two quarter-finalists last season but have only one side in the group stage this time out. Danish champions Copenhagen performed solidly in both the Champions League and Europa League last season but they are 125/1 shots in the Europa League odds and the quarter-finals would probably be their limit. It is hard to see another team capable of going all the way in the remainder of the pack.
- Keep close tabs on the Europa League betting comparison table above as the tournament progresses.