The Europa League is nearing the knockout stage for the 2015-16 season, when we will also see eight sides parachute into the competition from the Champions League to really shake things up. Here we present our predictions for what will transpire in the competition this time around, with our betting tips for the outright winner market. We also have the latest betting odds which we compare from the top bookies around to make sure you get the best price available whichever team you back for glory in Europe’s second most glamourous club competition.
As things stand plenty of sides have already qualified for the knockout phase of the tournament with a game of the group stage still to go. Lazio, Liverpool, Tottenham, Schalke and Borussia Dortmund are all in that position and they should be seen as the front runners to go all the way to the final at St Jakob Park in Basel on 18th May 2016.
The bookies are currently pricing German side Dortmund as the favourites, with Unibet and others offering betting odds of 6/1 for Tomas Tuchel’s side to win the Europa League. They’ve never won the Europa League (or the UEFA Cup that preceded it) but they have won both the Champions League (in 1996-97) and the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup (in1965-65) so they do have solid European credentials. At the time of writing they are in second place in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich (who else?!) with an unbeaten home record. For us, though, odds of just 6/1 are far too short for a competition that is as hard to win as the Europa League is and we are going to look elsewhere for our betting tips.
One option that is beginning to grow in appeal is to back Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham, who are available at very nice betting odds of 16/1 with Unibet. They have been performing very well in the Premier League in England, having lost just once all season, and that was way back on the opening day of the campaign at Manchester United. Since then Spurs have become a formidable outfit with plenty of goals and a stout defensive capability. They have beaten Manchester City 4-1 at home and earned draws against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. While they will have some way to go to win the Europa League, they are not a bad outside bet for glory and they certainly offer better value than their fellow English team Liverpool (12/1 with Ladbrokes).
Napoli are the second favourites and Sky Bet are going out on a limb to offer betting odds of 12/1 for them to win the competition while most other bookies are as short as 9/1. Maurizio Sarri replaced Rafael Benitez in the summer after the Spaniard moved to Real Madrid and the new boss has started well, leading Napoli to second in Serie A with an unbeaten home record. They have already beaten Juventus, Fiorentina and AC Milan and they have the best goal difference in their division. They are also the only side in the Europa League to have won all five of their group matches to date. Okay, they haven’t got the toughest opponents on paper (FC Midtjylland of Denmark are in second place in the group), but you can only beat what’s put in front of you.
While some might look to Bilbao or Lazio (both 20/1 with Unibet in the outright winner betting), and others might look to the sides coming in from the Champions League, we predict that it will be Napoli celebrating in Basel in May and they are our main betting tip for the Europa League this season having been upset in the semis last season.Google+