Whilst the Champions League might be biggest tournament in European football, there is much less attention on the secondary competition – the Europa League. Like the Champions League, teams qualify for the Europa League based on their position in their national leagues and cup competitions. In most countries, these places are awarded to teams that ended up as runners-up or won the main cup competition.
It’s also a much larger competition than the ‘primary’ European competition with a total of 160 teams entered into the tournament. This means there is a lot more games for you to bet on when you’re betting on Paddy Power. With so many good teams in the tournament this year, we’re all wondering who will win the trophy in Baku at the end of the season.
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It has been an odd few seasons for Chelsea fans. Although they’ve won the Premier League title twice, the following season after their victories has been less than impressive.
Their point total of 70 last season was only good enough to secure a Europa League spot, but did led to the dismissal of Antonio Conte and reduce the rate at which fans bet on them with Mobybets.
As a result of the sacking, Maurizio Sarri was hired as manager, and has got off to an excellent start with his new club. The Europa League fixtures have been very friendly to them so far with their toughest game so far being against Greek team PAOK. Despite this, his side have managed to win all of their games and it would be foolish to not consider the Premier League side as one of the favourites.
The Europa League’s most successful club, Sevilla, are back in the competition after a competing in the Champions League last season and are one of the favourites to lift the trophy. In total, Sevilla have lifted the trophy five times with their most recent win coming in 2016.
Despite their success in Europe, Sevilla have often struggled on the domestic stage and only managed a 7th place finish last season. This season has gone at lot better for the club as they’re currently battling at the top of the league with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
In their Europa League campaign, Sevilla have secured their place in the next round of the competition and look set to finish as the top goal scorers in the group. The appointment of Pablo Machín has been a success so far, and if his Sevilla team can keep their start to the season up, he might be able to win the first trophy of his managerial career.
After a disappointing 2017-18 season and the departure of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, many were expecting this year to be a ‘write-off’ for the club. However, former PSG and Sevilla coach Unai Emery has already got the best out of his players and is leading the team through an impressive unbeaten streak.
It’s this start to the season and his history in the competition which has led to Emery’s team being considered amongst the favourites. Their place in the next round is already confirmed, and many fans are hoping that Emery will be able to replicate his Sevilla success when he managed to lead the club to three successive Europa League trophies.
The Italian team might not be the fearful force that they once were but they’re still a difficult team to play against. After a turbulent few years where numerous managers joined and left the club, former player Gennaro Gattuso was appointed as manager back in November 2017.
Although he hasn’t managed to transform the team into title contenders overnight, Gattuso has managed to make them a tough team to beat and added world class players like Gonzalo Higuain. Their Europa League future is still undecided, but if they manage to progress then they’ll have to be considered one of the teams to watch out for.
Last season was one to remember for Eintracht Frankfurt fans as they finished in their highest league position in five years, and also managed to win the DFB-Pokal for the first time since 1988 thanks to a 3-1 win against Bayern Munich in the final. Although the summer saw first team coach Niko Kovač leave for Bayern Munich, the appointment of BSC Young Boys coach Adi Hütter has proven be an excellent choice as the side are sitting third in the Bundesliga and have already secured their place in the next round of the Europa League.
The German side were drawn in arguably the toughest group in the competition but have managed to ease through it with four wins from four, including an impressive 4-1 win against Italian side Lazio. If the German club continue their impressive form over the course of the season, they could go from dark horses to competition winners.