Europa League Betting Tips
The 2020/21 Europa League returns this February with four British teams still in contention to reach this year’s final in Gdansk after advancing from the group stages.
Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester City and Rangers will all be on their travels when the competition returns, with all having tricky away trips to negotiate in the first leg.
Man Utd will be joining them in the battle to lift this year’s trophy after their shock final-game exit from the Champions League, with the Red Devils starting their second straight Europa League knockout campaign away at high-flying Spanish Primera outfit Real Sociedad.
Here’s where we think the early value could lie as we cast our eye over the Round of 32…
Europa League Outright Betting
Europa League Favourites 2021: Can Mourinho secure Spurs a trophy?
As a two-time winner of this competition, José Mourinho knows a thing or two about timing an assault on the Europa League to perfection. His impeccable credentials in this tournament mean Tottenham Hotspur (21/4) lead the betting, while former club Manchester Utd (31/5) are also now heavily fancied after their elimination from the Champions League.
Arsenal have endured an indifferent campaign in the Premier League, but comfortably navigated their way out of a favourable Group B without dropping a point. The Gunners are 39/4 to add a third trophy in 12 months to Mikel Arteta’s cabinet after the rookie boss lifted the FA Cup and FA Community Shield in 2020.
Away from the Premier League contenders, Serie A sides will be looking to end their long drought in this competition. It’s been over 20 years since we’ve had an Italian winner, but Milan (10/1) and Napoli (12/1) could be ideally placed to end that barren run.
Europa League 2020/21 Winner Market: Long Odds Contenders
The relentless fixture pile-up caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could make this one of the most unpredictable Europa League knockout stages in memory. Could that also lead to a few surprise names sneaking their way into the conversation when it comes to potential winners?
If Benfica can outwit Arsenal in arguably the biggest game of the Round of 32, the Portuguese giants could be the team to watch.
Manager Jorge Jesus enjoyed great success in this tournament in his first spell with the club, reaching two finals. After losing both final outings in 2013 and 2014, can he make it third-time lucky in 2021? Benfica are 23/1 to taste European success for the first time since 1962.
What about Rangers (34/1)?
It would be one hell of a season for Steven Gerrard if he can guide the Gers to domestic and European success in the same season – particularly after such a long absence from the top table. On paper, a tussle with Antwerp looks like one of the better ties Rangers could have been handed at this stage of the tournament.
Finally keep an eye on Hoffenheim (29/1) and their high-energy style. The Bundesliga outfit breezed through the group stages while scoring 17 goals in the process – and can afford to treat these knockouts as a ‘free hit’.
Die Kraichgauer look set for a season of mid-table consolidation in the German top flight after a middling first half of the campaign. That might just allow them to fully channel their energies on an assault on Europe, with a favourable tie against Molde facing them in the Round of 32.
Best Bets | Europa League Round of 32 Betting Predictions | First Legs – 18th February
Here are our three early shouts as we look over the Europa League betting for the key continental clashes this spring…
Sociedad to give Utd a scare
Real Sociedad have been the surprise packages of the 2020/21 Spanish Primera season, but there are a few fleeting signs a fight on two fronts is starting to stretch the Basque side to their limit.
After making most of the early running in La Liga, La Real have slipped off the pace in the title chase over the festive period, with the two Madrid clubs starting to assert their authority.
Any more drop-off in form before February could see this competition emerge as their most realistic outlet to make headlines at the end of the 2020/21 campaign – and knocking out Man Utd would be an almighty statement of intent.
Utd’s imperious away form this campaign makes them understandable 157/100 favourites with Marathonbet, but La Real have been hard to beat this season, with only title rivals Atlético managing to beat them by more than a one goal margin to date.
Benfica to break Arsenal hearts early?
While Leicester and Spurs look to have favourable trips on paper, could Arsenal be the Premier League side that suffer a bad bout of travel sickness?
A trip to Lisbon looks an awkward assignment for Mikel Arteta given some of the other matchups at this stage of the competition, although it’s worth noting that Rangers bettered Arsenal’s Round of 32 opponents in Group D by snatching top spot on the final matchday.
The Gunners will need to be careful not to be caught cold here, given Benfica have been free scoring at Estádio da Luz in this tournament to date, hitting 10 goals in their three home group games. Could they make Arsenal’s occasionally haphazard backline pay?
Granada to grind out a win?
Granada continue to go great guns in the Spanish Primera and could prove to be a thorn in the side of one of the tournament favourites, Napoli.
The Nazaríes have so far demonstrated last season’s 7th place finish on their return to the Spanish top tier was no fluke as they continue to fight for a top six spot in La Liga, and that consistency has mostly been built on strong home form.
Granada have lost just once on home soil in the league (as of 05/01) and will be banking on a strong first-leg showing at Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes to extend their continental adventure.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.