Matchgains Ultimate Guide to Europa League Predictions
After two months of league football in which we have been craving for more soccer actions in midweek, European football’s two biggest club competitions have finally begun.
While the Champions League remains the biggest club competition in the world, the Europa League is not so far behind and with the likes of Steven Gerard now in the dugout it is going to be even more exciting.
With 64 teams fighting for 32 places in the first knockout round, there would be as much exciting games to catch up on as in the Champions League even though the money that would be made by teams in the two competitions defers greatly.
In this guide we help you see the teams that are more likely to reach the next round as well as those that are even more likely to win it, and off course players to watch out for.
Europa League 2018/2019 Winners Betting Favourites
Chelsea stars seem to have taken to Maurizio Sarri’s tactics like fish takes to water and no other player has adjusted better than the sometimes unplayable, Eden Hazard, and with this season looking like his final campaign at Stamford Bridge he would want to leave with a bang.
The Blues have topped the Premier League after five games, they are clearly showing signs of no one being able to stop them. With goals coming from Hazard, and the midfield poise of Jorginho, Chelsea have no reason not to go all the way.
The Blues strength obviously lies in their attack, and if Eden Hazard can stays fit, no team in this competition can stop them.
Their weaknesses has to be their defence, the goals scored by Newcastle and Cardiff City this season shows that the Blues defence have the tendency to switch off, and that could be their undoing in this competition.
Key Player; Eden Hazard
Arsene Wenger failed to deliver the qualification to the Champions League as a parting gift to the Gunners, but under Unai Emery they should win this competition as the Spaniard has won it on multiple occasions in the past.
Unai Emery has won this competition three times and after a shaky start to the season, he seems to have gotten Arsenal playing as he wants them to play as the season progresses they can get better, that should end with them winning this competition.
The Gunners strength lies in their midfield. On his day Mesut Ozil can pull the strings and provide as many goals as he wants. Mattéo Guendouzi has also looked a good signing, they also have some good attackers to lead their charge.
The Gunners have invested heavily on their defence, they even bought a new goal keeper, but that part of their team remains their problem, if they don’t defend well as they often do, they wont go far.
Key Player; Mesut Ozil
After almost missing this competition due to a ban, Milan start their Europa League campaign as favourites again due to their previous record in European football and their investment in their squad in recent seasons.
Milan haven’t started this season very well, but they have time to make up for a poor start to the season and we believe they also have the players to help them go all the way in this competition.
Milan have a strong attack that is blessed with the experience and technique of Gonzalo Higuain, the speed and youthfulness of Patrick Crutone, and the skills and bags of tricks of Suso.
Although they have one of the most highly rated goal keepers in the world, Milan don’t have a good defence and they showed that in their match against Napoli when they allowed a 2-goals lead slip as they were beaten 3-2 eventually.
Key Player; Gonzalo Higuain
Led by the trickery of Dmitri Payet, O’M reached the final of this competition last season, and they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Champions. Payet’s injury in the final means they stood a very small chance in terms of winning the competition, and they were eventually beaten by Atletico Madrid.
However, with no Atletico Madrid to contend with this time, they would feel that they can go all the way and pass their last season’s achievement, and with the way they have started their domestic campaign they can be confident of achieving that.
The strength of these French men lies in their attack that is led by Dmitri Payet and Florian Thauvin as well as Kostas Mitroglou.
There biggest undoing would be complacency, because they seem to have perhaps one of the strongest squad to compete in this competition.
Key Player; Dmitri Payet
2018/2019 Europa League Group Stage Betting Tips
The draws for the 2018/2019 Europa League group stage was held on the 31st of August 2018, and the teams have been preparing for their first games which begins this week.
The likes of Chelsea and Arsenal would be looking to win it and get the automatic ticket to the Champions League next season as a place in the Premier League top four becomes even more difficult to achieve.
In this guide we profile every team that has made it this far and what their chances are of winning the competition or even qualifying from their group.
Favourites; Bayer Leverkusen
Group A has two teams with recent Champions League experience. Bayer Leverkusen and Ludogorets of Bulgaria, but the Germans seem to have the edge over the others in the group.
We expect Bayer to top the group, while Ludogorets follow as the second team to qualify, but the Europa League has always sprung surprises, but AEK Larnaca and FC Zurich haven’t started their respective domestic seasons good enough, so it would be hard to see them pull through here.
Favourites; Celtic, Salzburg
This is arguably the toughest group in this competition. Celtic are a team who regularly plays in the Champions League, Red Bull Salburg reached the semifinals last season, Rosenborg are indomitable in Norway, while RB Leipzig are one of Germany’s most efficient teams.
This group remains unpredictable, but Celtic know just how to beat Rosenborg and Brendan Rodgers should see of the Norwegians again in this game. Salzburg have made a solid start to their league season winning all seven of their first seven games so far.
RB Leipzig and Rosenborg may become the weeping boys of the group except their form improves greatly.
Favourites; Zenith, Copenhagen
Zenith have made a solid start to their domestic campaign and we expect them to translate that form to the Europa League when it begins. Copenhagen are also top of the Danish top flight and they would coming to their games with full confidence.
Slavia Praha have also started their new season well as they top the Czech top flight yet again, but the quality of their league oppositions is nothing close to the people they would face in the Europa League. Bordeaux, are currently struggling after letting go of Gustavo Poyet earlier in the season.
Favourites; Anderlecht, Dynamo Zagreb
This is another very tough group to predict as at least three teams in this group are teams who have history in the Champions League and are not doing well domestically this season.
Anderlecht have the squad and a good manager to top this group, while Dynamo Zagreb have some good talents in their ranks to help them through, however, Fenerbahce and Spartak Trnava look like they would struggle to cope with the demands from Europe.
Unai Emery won this competition for three consecutive seasons when he was the manager of Sevilla. Now he has an even more expensively-assembled set of players, he should lead the Gunners out of this group with ease.
Sporting Lisbon should follow the Gunners in second position, however, they face a major challenge from Qarabag who played in the Champions League last season, while Vorskla would need to be at their best to compete.
Milan spent so much and were so desperate to qualify back into the Champions League last season, but that failed to materialize and they have to settle back in the Europa League, but they should qualify as group leaders.
With Yahaya Toure now on their team sheet, we expect Olympiacos to qualify as the second best team, but Real Betis play in a more competitive league and they would not want to be pushovers.
Favourites; Rangers, Villarreal
This group sees Steven Gerard try to become as successful as he can in his maiden season as a manager in Europe. The Gers have started this season well and they seem to have gotten to grips with the demands of their manager.
Rangers only other major competitor for the top spot is Villarreal as the Spaniards have some European pedigree. The likes of Spartak Moscow and Rapid Wien would have to be at their very best to finish inside the top two.
Favourites; Lazio, Marseille
The teams in this group impressed in their respective leagues last season and they would be looking to build on that in this competition.
Lazio played so well and were only stopped by a Red Bull side that was equally as impressive in this competition last season. They have sold Felipe Anderson, but they still have enough quality to qualify from this group. Marseille who reached the finals the last time out have kept their best players and added Kevin Strootman, they should go all the way here as well.
Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayern Munich in the German Cup final to qualify for this competition, but they have sold Kevin Prince Boateng, and Nico Kovac has joined Bayern Munich, it would be tough for them here.
Besiktas has been one of the best teams in the Turkish topflight over the past few seasons and even won the league title as recent as the 2016/2017 season. They competed in the Champions League last season, and they still have most of the players who helped them achieve their most recent successes, they should top this group.
It is a close call between the other teams, but Genk and Malmo FC look the more stronger team to fight for the second place.
Sevilla have won this competition more than any other team in their group. As a matter of fact, their most recent success came in the 2015/2016 season, and they would feel they know how to win it more than any other team in this group.
Standard Liege and Krasnodar should fight for the second spot, but Akhisar could spring a surprise or two.
Favourites; Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Kiev is the team with some European pedigree in this group, and they haven’t started their season badly, so they should go all the way. However, they cannot afford to underrate the likes of Rennes, and Astana who competed in the Champions League group stage in recent seasons.
Maurizio Sarri may not have won any trophy in his managerial career, but with the kind of football he is getting the Blues to play and the players at his disposal, that wait may not last long.
The Blues come into this competition as major favourites, and the last time they competed in it, they ended their campaign as champions, they should achieve the same this season as well.
PAOK and BATE should compete for the second spot, but Videoton were impressive in their Champions League qualifiers, and they should be a force as well.
The Europa League is perceived by many to be even more difficult than the Champions League, and this guide should help you know the teams that stand the chance of reaching the latter stages of the competition.
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