The Europa League group stage is just over a week away from resuming and as ever, it is one of the most wide open competitions in Europe.
Punters betting on the Europa League can get excellent value in the odds of the selections that they are betting on, particularly at the start of the group stages. This is because eight third-placed teams from the Champions League will drop into the competition and those are then often amongst the favourites to win it.
That happened last season with Manchester United, who went all the way to the final after failing to get out of a Champions League group featuring Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig. However, they lost to a side that were involved in the competition from the group stages in Villarreal on penalties.
Villarreal’s exploits show winners can come from the group stages despite the influx of Champions League teams in the knockout rounds and they won themselves a place in this year’s Champions League in the process of their Europa League victory.
A number of teams are fancied as contenders to win the competition at this moment in time if the odds are to be believed and if you are interested in betting on the Europa League then head over to Max Free Bets. They are your one-stop resource for all of the best betting offers and free bets from the UK’s best betting sites, online bookmakers and betting apps. Sports bettors will always get the best value when betting with Max Free Bets’ help.
Continue on to learn who the current favourites are with the oddsmakers for this season’s Europa League.
Leicester City – 14/1
Leicester City are competing in the Europa League for the second consecutive season and are currently joint-favourites in the competition. Last term, the Foxes’ squad struggled to compete across multiple fronts and it affected both their Europa League and Premier League campaigns. Leicester faded at the end of the season to miss out on a top four finish once again, while they were eliminated from Europe by Slavia Prague, a team who on paper most would’ve expected them to defeat. However, their squad looks much stronger and deeper this year after adding Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Boubakary Soumare, Ademola Lookman and Patson Daka over the summer. Leicester now have the experience of winning in knockout football after winning the FA Cup last year and have an elite manager in Brendan Rodgers.
Napoli – 14/1
Joining Leicester as 14/1 favourites are Serie A giants Napoli, who come into the season off the back of a pretty understated transfer window. They have much of the same squad from last year that narrowly missed out on a place in the Champions League. Napoli finished fifth on 77 points behind Atalanta and Juventus in third and fourth respectively, both of whom finished on 78 points, while second-placed AC Milan had 79 points. Napoli showed they are a huge threat in front of goal after scoring 86 goals in 38 league games and boast the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen and Hirving Lozano in their squad.
Having been eliminated by Granada in last season’s Europa League, Napoli will be hoping for better this year.
West Ham United – 16/1
This season will be West Ham United’s first appearance in the Europa League group stages and despite their lack of experience, bookmakers have them as third favourites. David Moyes’ team had an outstanding year in 2020/21 after finishing sixth in the Premier League and have strengthened with the signings of Kurt Zouma, Nikola Vlasic, Alphonse Areola and Alex Kral. One area that could become a concern for the Hammers is if Michail Antonio picks up an injury, with the club failing to sign a recognised centre forward over the summer to provide competition. They may have to mix and match at times in the Europa League when it comes to the centre forward position and they have plenty of options to adapt. West Ham will be eager to bid farewell to club legend and captain Mark Noble in fairytale fashion by winning the Europa League in his final season before retiring.
Lazio – 20/1
Lazio are back in the Europa League this season after being eliminated by Bayern Munich in the round of 16 in the Champions League last term. Maurizio Sarri is now in charge and he has a track record of success in competition having won it during his one season as Chelsea manager in 2018/19. Lazio have one of Europe’s most potent marksmen in Ciro Immobile, who has scored at least 25 goals in all competitions in four of his five full seasons in the club. Last season the 31-year-old scored 25 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions and has already started this season on fire with four goals in two league games. Immobile also won Euro 2020 with Italy in the summer and this team will likely go as far as he can take them. Felipe Anderson is back at the club and they also signed Pedro on a free transfer from city rivals Roma.
Bayer Leverkusen – 20/1
Bayer Leverkusen have made a great start to the Bundesliga season, finding themselves second in the table after taking seven points from their first three league outings. The German outfit had a tough setback over the summer after losing Leon Bailey to Aston Villa, but used the fee to bring in 20-year-old centre-back Odilon Kossounou. Perhaps most crucially though they were able to keep hold of prospects Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz, both of whom look set to be key players in their squad this season. Leverkusen made it to the knockout stages of the Europa League last season but were beaten at the first hurdle after crashing out to Young Boys 6-3 on aggregate. Most would’ve had Leverkusen progressing from that particular tie and the defeat had a part to play in Peter Bosz losing his job, with Gerardo Seoane now the man in charge.