Europa League favourites and group stages

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If the Champions League is not enough for you then get ready for the Europa League on Thursday nights. With big names in Europe, the second biggest European competition never fails to impress. Find out who are the favourites to claim the 47th title. Stay tuned.

Who are the favourites

Lyon will be the biggest favourites of the competition. Not only did they reach the semi-final last season but it also announced that the final will take place in their stadium (Parc Olympique Lyonnais) in France. However, the favourites can change when the third placed Champions League teams enter the competition at the round of 32. Arsenal will be big favourites if they are keen to do well. A lot of English teams focus only on the Premier League and rest key players for their European matches. However, this wasn’t the case for Manchester United last season when they claimed the title, it may be a good option for Arsenal to keep open to qualify for next year’s Champions League.

AC Milan are back into Europe by qualifying through the qualifying rounds. These are top favourites as they are one of the most successful teams in Europe ever. With Suso in the team they look confident to go far. The bookies are rating them as low as . Everton are surely another favourite, with the new additions of Pickford in goals and Wayne Rooney up front to score goals. Rooney captained the side who won the Europa League last season so he’ll be a great help in terms of experience. They breezed past the qualifiers and this will be a team that will take the competition seriously. They have a good rating at 25/1.

You can never forget Marseille and Villarreal, two big clubs from Spain and France. Both teams are no strangers to this competition. Marseille have a dangerous squad. Payet and Thauvin in midfield with Patrice Evra at the back. They are both rated at 25/1 also.

The groups

In group A Villarreal are favourites to walk through their group. Drawing with Maccabi from Israel, Astana and Slavia Prague, it should be no problem for them. Dynamo Kiev from Ukraine and Young Boys from Switzerland will battle it out for top spot in group B. Dynamo Kiev have huge odds to claim the title with Bet365 at 66/1. Worth a shot! Braga from Portugal and Hoffenheim, who were knocked out by Liverpool in the champions league play-offs, have a tasty group with Instanbul Basaksehir from Turkey all in group C. Hoffenheim are 40/1 to win the tournament, big chance for the Germans and a good bet to place in our opinion. Group D contains the favourites AC Milan. They will face the Greek club AEK Athens, Rijeka from Croatia and Austria Wien. No problem for them we expect.

Group E is probably the most interesting group. The hosts Lyon are drawn with Everton and Atlanta from Italy. If we were to guess who could qualify in this it would be Everton and Lyon, two teams looking strong this season and expected to go far in this competition. Neither team will want to finish second though in fear of drawing against one of the Champions League teams. Copenhagen and Lokomotiv Moscow are drawn in group F. Copenhagen are draw at 100/1 but we wouldn’t recommend betting on this team. No big teams in group G. Vikoria, Steaua Bucuresti, Hapoel and Lugano are drawn together. Arsenal are drawn in one of the toughest groups. BATE Borisov, Koln, Red Star Belgrade, all great teams. Arsenal are not guaranteed to qualify and will find it hard if their youngers are playing.

Marseille are drawn Red Bull Salzburg. Salzurg is another team with great odds at 80/1. Athletic Bilbao will face Hertha BSC, a German side, in group J. Another tasty group is group K with a strong Italian side Lazio with Nice, a decent French team who were unfortunate not to get into the Champions League. Nice are rated at 66/1 to win. Finally, in group L Zenit will battle it off against Real Sociedad and Bentner’s Rosenburg side. Zenit have odds of 40/1 and 50/1 for Real Sociedad.

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