Betting on UEFA Europa League Football
The UEFA Europa League is Europe's second continental competition: perhaps a bit of an afterthought in comparison to its more illustrious cousin, the Champions League, but an attractive proposition nonetheless for the majority of the clubs who enter it. Designed for those clubs finishing outside the elite in their domestic leagues, as well as domestic cup winners, the competition also benefits from Champions League qualifiers dropping down into it at various stages, both during the qualifying rounds, and after the Champions League group stage, when each third-place-finishing team in the eight Champions League groups moves into the Europa League. Unsurprisingly, it is these eight teams that usually provide the winner of the Europa League – Europa League winner odds usually reflect that – but it doesn't always happen that way.
The competition is rather long-winded: 213 teams from all of UEFA's 55 associations compete from the qualifying rounds onwards, including a host of clubs that are eliminated from the Champions League qualifying rounds. The Europa League is a huge competition, and one of its attractions is the eclectic combination of clubs that it throws up. There are a number of qualifying rounds, including a preliminary round, and by the time the competition reaches the group stages proper, 48 teams are remaining to compete in 12 four-team groups. 24 teams proceed to the knockout phase, and are joined by eight teams who drop out of the Champions League, resulting in a last-32 knockout round, and then proceeding as such all the way to the final. Winning the Europa League truly is a marathon effort, and Europa League betting odds often fluctuate as the season meanders through.
UEFA Europa League Football Odds
The Europa League is a popular betting proposition for four reasons. The first because it is a high-profile European continental competition, of course. The second because it has such an eclectic bunch of teams – big names combined with obscure minnows – drawing attention from every one of Europe's 55 competing territories. Thirdly, the competition itself is ripe for shocks – big name teams are consistently outdone by the smaller teams for one reason or another. The final reason is because the Europa League is exclusive to Thursday night – providing some much-needed betting action for those who need it on a night which was usually bereft of football before.
Betting on the Europa League is tricky – there are so many factors to consider that it is an art form it itself. Any causal bettor will tell you that throwing famous names down on to accumulator coupons is folly – if you put down three names each time you can be confident that as least one big name will let you down. This is for a plethora of reasons, but perhaps two main ones. Firstly, the underdogs tend to get prematurely overlooked – the fact is that nearly all of Europe's leagues these days produce fine football teams who can beat anyone on any given day. The second reason is that bigger teams often take their eye of the ball when it comes to the Europa League, particularly in the competition's early stages. This can be because it is difficult to maintain a Thursday/Sunday schedule for clubs, and if there is a huge league game upcoming on the weekend, it is not unusual for teams with bigger squads to put out severely weakened sides. For all these reasons it is futile just putting down a team's name because you rate them as more famous than their opponents: league fixtures, injury concerns and the team's Europa League motivation must all be assessed before a winner can be decided upon. Europa League betting odds have adapted to the situation, but not all bettors have.
UEFA Europa League Winners Odds for 2019-20
As of right now, it is impossible to say who the favourite for the Europa League title is. We can say that according to the Europa League winners odds 2019/20, before a ball has been kicked in the new season, Manchester United are listed as the competition favourite, while Arsenal are second favourites, but these names can change dramatically come December when we know the identity of the eight teams who will drop out of the Champions League and into the Europa League. If one of those teams happens to be Barcelona, for example, then there is your new favourite right there. Similarly, if Manchester United are pushing for the Premier League title, it is quite possible that the team's management will decide upon putting out weaker teams in the Europa League – such is the nature of this competition.
So, although it is always worth pouring over Europa League winners odds at any given time, the fact is we rarely have the full picture when it comes to this competition. Just another thing that makes it an intriguing tournament for betting on.
UEFA Europa League Football History
To all intents and purpose, the UEFA Europa League is the modern equivalent of the UEFA Cup, which for years was the second most prestigious pan-European club competition. The competition became known as the Europa League back in 2009/10, while Champions League teams first started dropping down into the competition when it was still known as the UEFA Cup, back in 1999/2000, which incidentally was the same year when the competition hoovered up the continent's now-defunct third competition, the Cup Winners' Cup.
The UEFA Cup was first played in 1971/72, and in all the years up until now, Sevilla have been the competition's most successful club, with five wins. Interestingly, all of those wins have been in the last 15 years, so the Spanish side have really been the dominant force of modern times. Due to the fact Sevilla rarely qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the club are one of the perennial favourites for the Europa League title, as the odds reflect. Liverpool, Atlético Madrid, Inter and Juventus have all won the competition three times, but all four clubs are more regularly found in the Champions League. Such is the dynamic of the Europa League.