The UEFA Europa League is back on Thursday for more compelling continental drama.
The little brother of the UEFA Champions League has become a prestigious competition in its own right in recent seasons thanks to the participation of emerging forces.
In this piece, we will take a look at upcoming games involving teams that stand the best chance of winning in this campaign – at least, until UCL teams parachute in for the knockout stages, thanks to their third-place safety scheme.
One of the most accurate ways to assess who the favourites are to go all the way in this season’s edition is to look at bookmakers’ odds. Bet365 place three Premier League sides among the top four contenders.
North London’s finest, Arsenal and Tottenham, clash in the English top-flight this weekend in a game that could showcase the future UEL winners.
Top of the table domestically, Spurs are also leading UEL Group J with nine points from four games. However, second-placed Antwerp are only behind them on goal difference, so Spurs will need to be motivated for their final two games if they want to win the group.
Jose Mourinho’s team travels to Austria for a match with LASK next. Although they swept LASK aside 3-0 in the reverse fixture, the Austrian Bundesliga side, who are third with six points, should not be underestimated.
A victory for the home side could threaten Tottenham’s progression to the Round of 32. We expect a tight game, as has become routine for Spurs on the road, with four of their last five away games featuring fewer than two goals. Bet365 price backing against both teams scoring at a tempting 2.20.
Arsenal, meanwhile, is in rag order in the Premier League. 13 points from 10 games has left them 14th in the table, posing potential problems for Mikel Arteta’s job security.
The former midfielder can at least point to how smoothly things are going in the UEL as evidence of his competence.
The Gunners are top of Group B with a perfect record after four wins from four games.
This week they come up against the team that gave them the biggest test of this UEL campaign, Rapid Vienna.
Arsenal had to dig deep in the reverse fixture, coming from a goal down to register a narrow 2-1 victory on matchday one.
Given the manner of their two previous home UEL wins, this should be a straightforward assignment. However, Arsenal has been suffering badly at home in domestic competition, losing their last three Premier League games at the Emirates.
Arteta may try to use this game to experiment with finding a solution to that problem.
We may see the Gunners playing with more freedom as a result. William Hill price Arsenal at 19/20 to score in both halves, as they have done in their previous two home games in this competition.
With Leicester completing that trio of English runners, there are plenty of other top teams in contention to win the UEL this season. For further tips on who to back and who to avoid in this competition, we suggest checking out Wincomparator.
They produce the best tipster previews around and seek out the best odds available for punters.
To get clued in on who to bet with, read about the 11 best online betting sites reviewed by them now.