9 November, 2020 - 07:59

Who are the favourites to win the Europa League?

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The Europa League is probably the toughest tournament to predict in world football. Why? Predominantly through the fact it’s such a long competition combined with the unknown quantities that join after the Champions’ League group stage.

Therefore, there is only a short window of opportunity and the favorites can change quickly. Like in card games, you have to know when to surrender in blackjack to avoid losing more money. When betting on the Europa League you also have to capture the moment and see which team has what it takes to last until the very end.

With that said, we still think we can narrow the winner down. Here we look at some of the names likely to make the latter rounds.

Hoffenheim

Any team that can turn Bayern Munich over have to be taken seriously. Hoffenheim have started the season in indifferent form on the domestic front having battered Bayern 4-1 but then dropping points against the likes of Koln and Frankfurt.

Robert Skov provides some creativity to the German’s line up and Andrej Kramaric already has eight goals to his name from four appearances. Are there stronger teams in the competition? Without question. Sebastian Hoeness’ men have enough about them to cause a few upsets though.

Villarreal

With Paco Alcacer averaging a goal every 70 minutes, it’s fair to say Villarreal fancy their chances in most matches they play at the moment. Their star attacker is being fed by talented midfielders Samuel Chukwueze and Takefusa Kubo, who is on loan from Real Madrid.

They’ve scored eight goals from their two Europa League games to date and have lost only one of seven in La Liga. There might be question marks over the Yellow Submarine defensively but in Sergio Asenjo they have a decent keeper to bail them out. If the draw is kind, they could easily put together a decent run.

AC Milan

AC Milan might only just scraped into the Europa League group phased courtesy of one of the more ridiculous penalty shoot outs you’re likely to see but there is no questioning their strength now.

They’ve already breezed past Celtic and Sparta Prague to sit pretty at the top of group H whilst they also top Serie A where they’re unbeaten. Veteran attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is thriving on the service provided by Hakan Calhanoglu and Rafael Leao.

They’re not just an attacking force though with Simon Kjær and Franck Kessie bringing some steel to the team in defence and midfield respectively. They will take some stopping.

Tottenham

Forget the fact Spurs just lost to Royal Antwerp. They’re contenders. In Jose Mourinho they have a manager who knows how to win things - that’s especially true when it comes to knockout football.

Then there is the squad at his disposal. Son Heung-min and Harry Kane are arguably the hottest duo in football at the moment whilst Gareth Bale should be fully fit come the knockout phase.

If Mourinho can bring a little more solidity to his team - as he managed post-Covid lockdown in the Premier League - then it’s tough to argue against their label as the favourites in the betting odds.

A Champions League wildcard

Given the way the Champions League has started it’s feasible that a couple of huge names drop into the Europa League after the group phase. Who are the candidates?

Well, in group B you’ve got Mönchengladbach, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. At least one of them will miss out on the top two. All three would pose a threat in the remainder of the tournament with Mönchengladbach arguably the weakest of the trio.

Atalanta and Ajax appear to be battling for second spot in group D. Again, one of them won’t make the cut. Both sides have made the latter stages of Europe’s premier competition in recent years and would fancy their chances of going deep into the Europa should they drop down.

Finally, there is RB Leipzig who look likely to finish third in group H. They might have lost Timo Werner since their run to the semi-final last year, but they’ll carry a big threat in the secondary European cup.

There you have it, the contenders for the Europa League. Who did we miss? Is there a possible joker we didn’t outcome?

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Author: walter lopez

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