Europa League Predictions & Tips
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.
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).
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?
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 26th July 2021