The Europa League
which was formerly known as the UEFA Cup, is UEFA’s second tier club competition which comes after the Champions League
. It is true that all clubs aspire to play in the UEFA Champions League, but the Europa league is a good alternative to the Champions League.
The Europa league group stages begin in September up to May when the final is played. There is a total of 12 groups of four teams, with each team playing everyone else in that group on a home and away basis. At the end of the group stages, the top two teams in each group, plus the eight third-placed teams who depart from the UEFA Champions League group stage, form the round of 32 which is a knockout stage where teams eliminate each other by playing two legged matches. The knockout stages continue until the final which is played at a predetermined venue.
The winner of the Europa league will take part in the UEFA Super Cup match which is played between the Champions League winners and the Europa League winner. Additionally, winning the Europa League will earn the team an automatic entry into the Champions League group stages.
This competition is initially aimed to cater for mid table teams or teams who are do not meet the Champions League requirements. For Example, in the Barclays English Premier League, a fifth-placed finish guarantees a place in the group stages, the other spot is reserved for a team which wins the FA Cup.
Europa League Tips
Chelsea are the current Europa League holders after beating Arsenal in an all-English final played in May. The main markets people bet on are Halftime/Fulltime, Double Chance, Correct score, Number of Goals, and Top goalscorer.
The Europa league was unfamiliar territory for the gunners but right now they have participated in the Europa League in successive seasons. Last season they were beaten by Chelsea in the final but they seem to be in a strong position now than they were last season and they are the odds on favourites to win. In Unai Emery, Arsenal have a Europa League specialist who won the Europa league three seasons in a row and this puts the gunners in a strong position to win it.
Manchester United 5/1
Manchester United are favourites to win the Europa League because they have a good squad with talented players like Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Most of the players in this team won the Europa league two years ago under Jose Mourinho and their experience will be vital this season if they are going to lift the Europa League once more.
Sevilla are sometimes referred to as the kings of the Europa League because there have dominated this tournament in recent history, more than any other team and they have a very good team that can all the way in this tournament.
FC Astana 1000/1
FC Astana have over the years struggled in the Europa League and it looks like the trend will continue this season because they do not have a good squad to compete in Europe. They have lost their first two matches with a -2 goal difference.
Lugano do not have any realistic chance of winning the Europa League because they have started very badly and they do not seem like they have a team that can challenge the likes of Arsenal and Sevilla.