Europa League Predictions & Tips

Freiburg vs Lens

A goalless draw in France last week leaves this tie beautifully poised before the meeting at Europa-Park Stadion. While Freiburg are winless in five, Lens are unbeaten in their last five. The visitors are still football betting underdogs.

Lens have won four matches away from home all season. Freiburg’s home record has generally been good, but they drew 3-3 with Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend, and have only won one of their last four home fixtures.

While Lens were left frustrated not to win the first leg, manager Franck Haise was keen to look ahead to the second leg.

“Everything is still playable after this 0-0. I have the feeling that we could do better against this low block and this 5 3 2 defense with little depth for us. 

“We should have been much better technically for a large part of the match… But there is still a return match (scheduled for Thursday February 22) and we are not yet eliminated.”

Freiburg manager Christian Streich also felt his team could have won the match.

“We should have won the game with the chances we had, but I don’t want to blame the team, they left it all out on the pitch. The team was very, very disciplined and smart, playing at this wonderful stadium with a spectacular crowd.”  

These are two relatively well-matched teams. Home advantage makes it hard to bet against Freiburg, but Lens have been an incredibly difficult team to beat in 2023-24.

We’re backing this one to go to extra time – don’t be surprised if this is decided on penalties. 1-1 is the correct score pick after 90 minutes. 

Marseille vs Shakhtar Donetsk

After sacking Gennaro Gattuso on Monday, it’s safe to say Marseille are in turmoil ahead of the visit of Shakhtar Donetsk. Online betting markets comfortably favour the hosts, despite the tie being deadlocked at 2-2.

It’s now seven matches without a win across all competitions for Marseille. Shakhtar’s domestic form was strong before Christmas, and they have had seven days to prepare for this match.

Shakhtar manager Marino Pusic was a little disappointed not to win the first leg, but remains confident ahead of Thursday’s matchup.

“Sometimes football is like that. Sometimes you don’t get the result you deserve. But it was a tough game for both teams, an interesting game for the viewers. And we have the same result.

“We knew in advance that such a clash would not be decided in the first game, so in the first part, we got a draw, so we confidently approach the next stage.

“We showed how well we can play. I am confident in the second leg, even when we play away against Marseille. And it’s great – to play such matches. This is what you become a footballer for, to play such matches.

“I experienced this as a coach, I know what it feels like to play away against Marseille. It’s a tough away game against a serious opponent, but we are ready. We will be ready to compete again and, of course, we will try to win.”

Maybe Marseille get a new manager bounce after a torrid start to 2024. They definitely need it.

Shakhtar, though, put in an impressive performance in the first leg, and we know their attack will create chances after scoring four goals across their Champions League away days in Barcelona and Porto.

We really like the value on the visitors to win this one. Shakhtar and BTTS is excellent value with how free scoring the Ukrainian club have been.

Europa League History

Not for the first time, the Europa League is undergoing some significant changes this season as it reduces in size from 48 teams to 32 to accommodate the newly conceived Europa Conference League that will run alongside it.

A leaner version of the tournament necessitates a different format with the eight winners of their respective groups progressing automatically to the last 16 while each runner-up enters a knockout play-off round against eight teams who finished third in their Champions League groups.

Prior to all this, there are the usual qualifying rounds that begin as early as August 5th.

Now fifty years old, the competition began life as the UEFA Cup before rebranding into its present incarnation in 2010 and though it will always – to an extent – live in the shadow of the Champions League it remains an enthralling tournament on its own merit, routinely offering up intriguing ties and unforgettable moments.

Since changing to a single-leg final in the late-nineties we’ve been treated to some thrilling climaxes, most notably Liverpool’s 5-4 victory at the turn of this century and a recent five-goal classic featuring Sevilla and Inter Milan that lifted a continent’s spirits in lockdown.

This time out, the English participants are Leicester City and West Ham United and they will hope to replicate the achievements of Ipswich, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United who have all previously won this ever-evolving, always fascinating tournament.

How To Watch Europa League In UK 

This season’s Europa League campaign can be enjoyed exclusively on BT Sport who are covering the competition from the qualifying rounds right through to the final held at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in Seville on May 18th.

All live games will be shown on TV, online and via the BT Sport app.

Europa League Outright Predictions

Twelve teams have been confirmed to date for the group stage while a further nine are rubberstamped for the qualifying rounds and from all these it is Lyon and Napoli who particularly stand out.

The French club still has the nucleus of the side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019/20 and in Houssem Aouar, Maxence Caqueret and the talented Brazilian Lucas Paqueta they will likely possess the best midfield in the competition even when the Champions League teams are parachuted in.

The loss of Memphis Depay to Barcelona however may be costly with the Dutch forward scoring a quarter of their league goals last term.

Europa League odds

There are no such problems for Napoli who have retained Euro 2020 star Lorenzo Insigne and Mexican winger Hirving Lozano for the campaign ahead. The duo scored 30 Serie A goals last season as Gli Azzurri finished just a single point behind Juventus.

Determining who the Europa League top scorers may be matters because two of the last three leading poachers in the competition fired their team to the final and if that’s another reason to back Napoli consider too Lazio who are led from the front by Ciro Immobile. The Italy star scored 25 in 2020/21.

Don’t discount the possibility of a Champions League side dropping into the competition at the play-off stage and ultimately grabbing the glory. Right now, though, the teams to fancy are Lyon, Napoli and Lazio.

Europa League Group Predictions 

The group games will be played on Thursday evenings, in the same week as Champions League fixtures, and soon enough the ten play-off winners from the qualifying rounds and ten Champions League play-off losers will join the 12 teams who have already secured a spot.

Of these 12, four are currently guaranteed to be placed in Pot 1 ahead of the group draw scheduled for August 27th.

These are Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio, Lyon and Napoli with Braga, Leicester, and Eintracht Frankfurt also in with a chance of being granted top seed status.

The remaining five clubs whose seeding is still unknown are West Ham, Marseilles, Lokomotiv Moscow, Real Sociedad, and Real Betis.

From these we can surely expect Leicester to feature prominently on our Bet of the Day blog, updated regularly throughout the season.

After two splendid Premier League seasons the Foxes will pose a real threat to any opponent no matter which group they find themselves in.

Top Europa League Betting Teams

Should Sevilla finish third in their Champions League group and drop down into the competition then some smart money must be reserved for them. That’s because los nervionenses have won the Europa League a staggering six times since 2006.

The same thinking should also be applied to Villarreal, with the Yellow Submarine coached by Unai Emery who similarly boasts a fine pedigree in this competition.

The former Arsenal boss has lifted the Coupe UEFA four times (three with Sevilla, once with Villarreal).

Europa tips

Factor in too Atletico Madrid’s impressive record in the competition, with a trio of triumphs, and clearly Spanish clubs historically thrive in the Europa League while their stranglehold in recent times is frightening. La Liga sides have won it 11 times in the last 18 years.

Even by comparison though English teams can hold their head up high. Manchester United have reached two finals in the past five seasons – winning it under Jose Mourinho in 2017. Liverpool meanwhile have won it on three occasions.

Betting On Europa League

Betting with 888sport couldn’t be easier and for Europa League action simply join up and head for the clearly designated sections. In this instance these are football>competitions>Europe.

Here you will find the best odds around for every game and its eventual winner including our popular under/over goals options. There is also an outright market featuring the favourites and outsiders to ultimately lift the trophy.

Europa League Betting Tips

As with all football betting we pride ourselves on offering up the best insight courtesy of experts who live and breathe European football.

Every game-week informative and entertaining blogs – located right here on this very page – will detail which teams are in form and where the real value lies from an array of attractive bets. The latest injury news and even tactical analysis will be included too.

Why pay for inferior tipster services when 888sport is not only your home of betting but the home of Europa League football?


Alex is a sports betting tipster, specialising in Premier League football, the Champions League and horse racing.

He loves placing a weekly accumulator on the football at the weekend and dreams of landing the big winner that will take him back to Las Vegas.

As well as writing sports betting tips for 888sport since 2015, Alex has produced content for several international media companies, such as and The SPORTBible.