Now that the Europe League is about to advance outside of the group stages, it is easier to build a clearer picture of who the possible winner, favorites and black horses of the competition are.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the teams that are most likely to lift the cup and those less obvious teams who are in a position to give them a run for their money.
Manchester United might have been disappointed to find themselves in the Europa League to begin with, but they are making the best of a bad situation. Ironically, their form for the Europa League, which they have only won once, isn’t a good as the Champions League they are hoping to qualify for, which they have won three times.
However, they are currently tied as favorites to win with Inter Milan, with good odds, according to Marathon Bet, of 7.70 to win the Europa League, although former League champions Arsenal and Sevilla are biting at their heels.
Arsenal came in as runners up in 2019, losing out to Chelsea 4-1 in Baku. Since that time, they have taken on Unai Emery for a short-lived stint as head coach and, although that didn’t pan out for their the club or Emery, they might be hoping that some of the Europa League success that Emery had with Sevilla has rubbed off on the Gunners.
Speaking of Sevilla, the club has already won the Europa League five times and is looking to make this a record-breaking 6th. While their qualification Group A wasn’t the most challenging, featuring APOEL, Ajax, and Dudelange, they still came out of it with maximum points.
English side Wolves haven’t won a major trophy since the 1980s, but they’re currently putting on a brave showing, standing 8th in the English Premier League (EPL). They are making their first return to International football in the Europa League.
Wolves are famous for their grit and determination that has seen them bring down much larger clubs in both the EPL and the FA Cup, however, in order to be a real challenge to the favorite, they will need to get through a tough match with Espanyol.
Wolves historians will be buoyed up by the fact that the club has won nine of the last ten international matches that they have played at home.
Both Roma and Lazio are looking to win their first Europa League title. If they meant knocking out their cross-town rivals in the process, they would only sweeten the victory. Lazio looks to have the stronger of the two chances, having already beaten off Juventus to win the Coppa Italia. They also have the easier qualification group, with Roma needing to overcome their other great rivals, Inter Milan.
Porto also has a good stab at the trophy, having already lifted the cup in 2010-11, although they will most likely be licking their wounds after losing out to Krasnodar in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
The Dark Horses
PSV Eindhoven and Espanyol both have a history with the Europa League, with both teams having lifted the cup before. However, both teams also have hard qualifying groups that they will need to battle through.
Germany only has two teams in Europa League contention this season and Wolfsburg will be the most likely team to do German football proud. History, however, is against them on this, as no German team has ever advanced beyond the quarter-finals of the tournament.
That being said, their qualification group of Saint Etienne, Gent, and debutantes Oleksandria was hardly the most challenging, and they are the favorites to come through their next match with Malmö FF.
Borussia Monchengladbach placed fifth in the Bundesliga last season and actually have a really good record in the Europa League, having won twice and reached the final a total of four times.