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Europa League Tips: Latest winner prices and our best bets

Leicester City kept a clean sheet in all three of their home games in the group phase and are 12/1 to lift this season's trophy
Leicester City kept a clean sheet in all three of their home games in the group phase and are 12/1 to lift this season's trophy

The Europa League returns on Thursday and after the draw was made for the last 32 back in December, Tottenham were clear favourites to win the tournament priced at 5/1. Since then their form has dipped dramatically in the Premier League with Jose Mourinho’s side slipping from 1st down to ninth in the table.

Two months on, there is now a new favourite at the head of the Europa League Winner market. We’ve listed all the prices for this year's renewal below along with our football tips and who we think will lift the trophy, as well as a few key statistics over recent years.

Venue Changes

With the global pandemic still an ongoing issue there are several fixtures that are being played in different countries due to travel restrictions and quarantine periods. We’ve listed those that have been announced so far below.

  • 18 February, Molde vs Hoffenheim - To be played in Villarreal, Spain.
  • 18 February, Real Sociedad vs Manchester United - To be played in Turin, Italy.
  • 18 February, Benfica vs Arsenal - To be played in Rome, Italy.
  • 18 February, Wolfsberger vs Tottenham - To be played in Budapest, Hungary
  • 25 February, Arsenal vs Benfica, To be played in Piraeus, Greece

Odds to win the tournament

As mentioned above there is now a new favourite with some bookmakers for the Europa League to when the draw was made for the last 32. After some good form in recent months in the Premier League, Manchester United are now 5/1 with Paddy Power to win the tournament, with the final scheduled to be played in Gdansk, Poland.

Europa League Winner Odds

So let’s look at the prices for the English sides left in the competition. Manchester United (5/1 favourites) have been drawn against Real Sociedad in the round of 32 after failing to progress from their Champions League group. With United looking ever more likely to finish inside the top-four in the Premier League I don’t think there will be a ‘need’ as such to win this tournament in order to qualify for next season's Champions League. One worrying statistic for those thinking of backing United, though, is that they have failed to beat Spanish opposition in their last nine matches, a run that stretches back to 2017 when they overcame Celta Vigo in this competition.

Spurs (6/1) have lost four of their last five league games and were dumped out of the FA Cup after extra time by Everton last week. Jose Mourinho does have a League Cup final to look forward to but with his side currently down in ninth position, winning the Europa League is looking like their most likely way of trying to get into next season’s Champions League. Spurs have been handed a generous tie against Austrian side Wolfsberger AC, in which they should progress easily. With a manager that has proven pedigree in this competition we fancy Spurs to go deep into the tournament, however at 6/1 they are still a little short in our eyes.

Arsenal are currently priced at 9/1 after qualifying for the knockout stages via a notably weak group that included Dundalk, Rapid Vienna and Molde. Mikel Arteta’s side have been handed a tricky draw in Benfica and have not been helped by both legs having to be played in different countries due to Covid-19. Again the likelihood is that Arsenal will miss out on a place inside the top-four in the Premier League which could lead to them putting extra emphasis on this competition in the latter stages of the season. 

Europa League Betting

Leicester City, 12/1, cruised through their group, with the highlight being an emphatic 4-0 over Braga. Brendan Rodgers has impressive squad depth in his current crop and for the second season in a row they have cemented themselves in the top-four league places. I think the Foxes can go one better this season and finish in the Champions League places but I also think they will be a real force in the latter stages of this season’s Europa League. With Slavia Prague the opponents on the menu, we fancy Leicester to progress quite easily and based on their league form it would be no surprise to see them go deep.

How many Europa League winners had exited the Champions League that season?

It’s worth remembering that certain sides who remain in the competition find themselves here after failing to qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League. We’ve had a look back at recent winners and in the last 20 runnings of this tournament and seven of those have been won by a team who have dropped out of the Champions League. Of those most recent 20 finals, 14 have featured a side to have via the UCL.

Selections 

Despite not being one of the most prestigious names left in the tournament, at 12/1 with some firms Leicester City make some appeal. With a fantastic coach at the helm and a well balanced improving squad, we think Leicester can outperform their odds. Arsenal and Spurs are considerably shorter prices than the Foxes which does look a little wrong in our opinion. Slavia Prague should be no match for the East Midlands side in the round of 32 with Jamie Vardy and James Maddison bang in form. Leicester have beaten Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea this season, all by at least two goals! They have the ability to give any side above them in the market a serious challenge and 12/1 each-way looks generous. 

Bayer Leverkusen also catch the eye at 16/1. When the draw was made for the last 32 Peter Bosz’s Leverkusen were unbeaten in the German Bundesliga with eight wins and three draws from their first eleven games. Since then their form has dipped, but a win over Dortmund last month proved they have still got big performances in them. After losing Kai Havertz last season, Leverkusen have coped well. They have a last 32 tie with Swiss outfit Young Boys which will not be an easy task, but one which they should be more than capable of overcoming. Again I’d be leaning towards taking the each-way on this selection meaning a payout at half odds should they reach the final. 

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