There are forty-eight teams who line up at the group stage of the Europa League. The winner and runner-up of each group then go through to the knockout stage that begins in February.
Naturally, that only makes twenty-four teams which means there are eight vacant spots at the last thirty-two stage and they are filled by the clubs that finish third in their respective Champions League groups.
The last thirty-two is then whittled down to the last sixteen before we get to the quarter-final stage and all of these knockout ties are played over two legs. The away goals rule is in place and a tie will go to extra-time and penalties if the scores (and away goals) are level after the two games.
The semi-final is also over two legs before the two clubs left standing to compete in the Europa League final which is a one-off match played at a neutral venue. The venue changes on a season-to-season basis and the prize for winning this competition is a massive trophy, some glory for the club and a place in the Champions League.
If you’re looking for an ante-post bet on the Europa League, please bear in mind that eight Champions League participants will be entering the competition at the knockout stage. The identity of these clubs won’t be known until December, so some punters might want to keep their powder dry before the full line-up is known.
It’s fair to say that Spanish and English clubs have dominated the Europa League in the past few seasons. Arsenal and Chelsea competed in the 2019 final, while Manchester United were successful in 2017 when beating Ajax. In 2013, Chelsea triumphed against Benfica to return to the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid won the competition in 2012 and 2018, thus demonstrating their credentials in both European tournaments, while Sevilla won on three consecutive occasions between 2014-2016, beating Benfica, Dnipro and Liverpool in the respective finals. It’s worth backing a team who play in a competitive domestic league when searching for the winner.
It goes without saying that a player’s chances of scoring the most goals in the Europa League depend on their respective team going deep in the competition. This was the case in the 2017-18 season when Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao) and Ciro Immobile (Lazio) both plundered eight goals in the competition.
You need to understand which strikers are most likely to play for the leading clubs and which players are likely to be rested during the early stages of this competition. It might be that the first-choice forwards don’t feature until the business end of the Europa League.
There are different ways to approach betting on the Europa League group stage. For starters, there are twelve different groups and that means the chance to bet on each group winner along with whether a particular team will qualify for the knockout stage by landing a top two spot in their section.
Many betting customers like to put together a betting accumulator where they’ll try to predict the winner of each group and have them in a big multiple bet. With twelve groups, you can potentially win a sizeable return from a small stake, even if you’re picking out teams who are trading at short prices.
The majority of bets on the Europa League come from customers trading on the individual matches that take place, mostly on a Thursday night. Because each round of games largely occurs on the same day, it lends itself well to Europa League multiple bets where an accumulator can be struck on any number of games.
Punters also enjoying betting on a match-to-match basis, with over 100 pre-match markets generally available with the bookmakers and that includes 1X2, Total Goals, Both Teams to Score, Correct Score, First Goalscorer, Asian Handicap, Half-Time / Full-Time, Half Time Result and Scorecast.
Many football fans now like to wait for a Europa League match to kick off before placing bets on the action. The advantage of doing this is being able to gauge the pattern of play and whether a particular side is dominating the match before deciding which way to bet.
Every bookmaker will offer In-Play betting on Europa League matches and several of the markets on offer are the same as you’ll find pre-event. The 1X2 market will be available until/unless one team goes a few goals ahead, while you can also expect to find markets such as Next Team to Score, Over / Under Cards, Over / Under Goals and Next Player to Score.
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