The group stage of the Europa League starts on September 21, and it’s time to see who are the favourites to come out on top and make it to the next stage.
The groups are full of high-quality teams, and getting to the best two of each quartet will be a rollercoaster ride. Some teams made it to this stage after being eliminated from the Champions League qualifying rounds; others reserved their spot through last year’s league competition, and some went through the Europa League’s qualifying rounds.
Each team will be aiming for one of the two spots in the group, but only the best will make it.
The Punters Page – online betting allows you to pick your favourite sports and find the best odds for the upcoming matches. If you’re a true football connoisseur, maybe you can cash in on your knowledge.
But before you start betting, check out our analysis of the Europa League groups and the details to look out for.
The Outsider Could Stir Things Up in Group A
Group A consists of three teams that will be aiming for the top spot and one outsider. TSC Backa Topola doesn’t stand much chance on the field against West Ham, Olympiacos, and Freiburg, but matches against the Serbian team might be the ones that determine who gets out of the group stage.
Losing points to the outsider can be quite harmful to the favourite’s chances of making it to the next round. So, the big guys will need to be extra careful when playing TSC. The newcomers to the competition are coming in with nothing to lose, and who knows which team will get the most out of them? These types of situations can be quite dangerous for the opposition, and somebody is likely to regret a lack of focus when playing against TSC.
Group B Is the Group of Death
The group of death is a term often used when discussing the group stages of any sports competition. In this year’s Europa League, Group B is the one with the most dangerous teams. With four teams that look pretty equal on paper, predicting who’s coming out on top is nearly impossible.
Ajax and Marseille come from the top two brackets and are the favourites to advance. However, AEK Athens and Brighton aren’t in the competition to go home after the first stage. Both of these teams can cause problems for the favourites, especially at home.
Liverpool Could Rest Players
As we know, Premier League teams favour playing in the Champions League more than the Europa League. Quite often, we see high-quality teams from England resting their star players when playing the second-best competition in Europe. Sometimes, Premier League games are more difficult and require the best guys to be rested when it’s time to play.
This year, Liverpool will be competing in Group E of the Europa League. Their group looks relatively hard, but the former Champions League winners are still heavy favourites to end up on top.
Still, keep in mind that they might come into some of these games with an alternate squad, which could lead to a few spilled points at away games.