It may not be held in the same esteem as its illustrious older brother, the UEFA Champions League, but there is no doubt that competing in the Europa League is seen as a real chance of winning some elusive European silverware by elite clubs.
With the draw for the 2018/19 competition set to kick off tomorrow and this being one of the best times of the year to avail of Bookie Sign Up Offers we thought it would be a good idea to see who the favourites are to win this seasons Europa League.
AC Milan 20/1
The Rossoneri may not be the force they once were but the Italian side have a fearsome pedigree at the elite level of club football, having won a sensational 14 European Trophies in their illustrious history.
Now under the stewardship of club legend Gennaro Gattuso and with a truly World Class striker in Gonzalo Higuain amongst their ranks, AC look a solid outside bet to have a really good run in this year’s competition.
France’s most heavily supported club may have little chance of breaking PSG’s domestic dominance, but as Les Olympiens proved last season when they reached the final of this very tournament that they are more than capable of mixing it with the best that the Continental competition has to offer.
With the likes Dimitri Payet and Kevin Strootman now plying their trade in the South of France, as well as the intimidating Stade Velodrome as their home base, few sides will fancy being drawn against Marseille.
There can be little doubt that La Liga side Sevilla have been the kings of the Europa League over last decade or so, having won the tournament five times since 2006 – including a record breaking three successive triumphs between 2013-2016.
Now back on familiar terrain after knocking Premier League side Manchester United out on their way to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season it would take a brave man to bet against Sevilla continuing their domination of Europe’s second most important cup competition this term.
It may just be the second time in 23 years that Arsenal are not competing in the Champions League, but with the man who masterminded Sevilla’s three in a row in this competition Unai Emery at the helm the Gunners are quite rightly amongst the teams the bookies reckon have a great chance of winning the Europa League this season.
In terms of quality – especially in attacking areas – there are few teams in the competition who will be able to get close to the North London outfit.
Having won the Premier League title in two of the last four seasons, many will see Chelsea’s involvement as a demotion of sorts.
However, it may well offer new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri one of the easiest paths to picking up the first silverware of his career. Much will depend on how the Stamford Bridge club prioritises their participation if they are also to launch a charge at the Premier League title this season, with the notorious Thursday – Sunday turnover an infamously difficult situation for clubs competing in the English top-flight to navigate.
If Chelsea does, however, decide to go all in and try to win the Europa League on paper at least they easily have the best squad in the competition.