It may only just be the start of July, but the 2019/20 Europa League is already underway.
For UK fans, the story of the preliminary round is undoubtedly Cardiff Metropolitan University. The Welsh side are the UK’s first ever university team to compete in European competition. Who else will be joining them when the competition starts to heat up?
We look at the UK teams involved and who they could face, plus the early betting in the Europa League outrights markets.
Europa League Teams 2019/20 – Potential Opponents for British Teams
First qualifying round
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side will head to either Kosovo or Gibraltar to play Prishtina or St Joseph’s in the first qualifying round. Last season’s SPFL’s runners-up will be away from home in the first leg.
Elsewhere Kilmarnock face an all-British affair away at Welsh Premier League runners-up Connah’s Quay Nomads as former Chelsea assistant Angelo Alessio looks to make an early mark with the club.
Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen will be hoping home advantage proves decisive as they host Finnish outfit RoPS.
Cardiff Metropolitan University still have a chance to make history and advance through to the first qualifying round if they can reverse a 1-0 deficit against Progrès. A tie against Cork City would be their reward if they reach the next stage.
Meanwhile one British side is guaranteed a trip to Norway, with Haugesund the opponents for the winner of Barry Town vs Cliftonville.
Northern Irish side Ballymena Utd could also be set for a Scandinavian adventure, with a huge trip to Swedish giants Malmo on the cards if they can see off NSÍ Runavík.
Second qualifying round
Wolverhampton Wanderers lit up the Premier League last season as they finished ‘best of the rest’ in seventh place.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side will make their entrance in the second qualifying round, with an all-British battle a big possibility.
Northern Irish side Crusaders could test their mettle against Premier League opponents if they see off Faroese outfit B36 Tórshavn.
Wolves will be seeded if they make it to the third qualifying round.
Arsenal and Manchester United enter the competition at this stage as a number of big guns from across Europe also join the party. Both of the Premier League giants will be placed in Pot 1 for the draw. Sevilla, Rona, Besiktas, Sporting CP and CSKA Moscow will join them in that pot.
Ten losers from Champions League qualifying will also enter at this stage. Ajax, PSV, Celtic, Basel, Porto and Olympiacos are just some of the teams who could be making an appearance at this stage.
Europa League outrights – the early betting
Man Utd – 6/1 – the 2017 Europa League winners return to the competition after missing out on last season’s Champions League. With the race for the Top Four likely to be intense, winning this could be an alternative route back to the UCL.
Arsenal – 7/1 – Unai Emery’s track record with Sevilla in this competition, plus Arsenal’s run to last year’s final, makes the Gunners early second favourites.
Sevilla – 12/1 – No side has better pedigree in this competition. The five-time winners are likely to be the biggest threat to the top English sides.
Roma – 13/1 – New manager Paulo Fonseca will look to make an instant impression after an impressing with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Getafe – 17/1 – The wildcards for this tournament after narrowly missing out on the Champions League. Expect them to cause plenty of problems for more prestigious opponents.
Wolves – 20/1 – Nuno’s side has shown they aren’t scared to ruffle feathers in the Premier League. Can that form translate to Europe?
Browse our Europa League outrights markets.
Who are you backing to win this year’s Europa League?
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