Following the draw for the quarter-final and semi-finals fixtures, it’s time to check out the 10 pre-billed favourites to win the Europa League.
A top-class feast of European action awaits us next month in the return of the Champions League and Europa League, assuming things go as planned.
The draw for the remaining knockout rounds in the Europa League took place on Friday morning at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. It didn’t disappoint either, with some good clashes coming up.
Europa League quarter-finals
QF1: Shakhtar Donetsk/Wolfsburg vs FC Basel/Eintracht Frankfurt
QF2: Manchester United/LASK vs FC Copenhagen/Istanbul Basaksehir
QF3: Inter Milan/Getafe vs Bayer Leverkusen/Rangers
QF4: Wolves/Olympiacos vs Roma/Sevilla
QF4 winner vs QF2 winner
QF3 winner vs QF1 winner
All ties will be single-leg fixtures in this mini-tournament rather than the traditional two-legged encounters. Therefore, clubs will have no room for error this time around. It sets up an interesting scenario that bookmaker Bwin has taken into account in the latest betting odds.
Top 10 favourites for the Europa League
10. Olympiacos – 34.00
After eliminating Arsenal in the last round, Olympiacos are 1-1 on aggregate with Wolves in their last-16 tie.
9. FC Basel – 29.00
The Swiss giants secured a commanding 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany last time out in March to put them on the brink of advancing from the last-16 stages. Either Shakhtar Donetsk or Wolfsburg will meet them next.
8. Shakhtar Donetsk – 17.00
The 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners are dreaming of a second European title and hold a 2-1 aggregate lead over Wolfsburg in their last-16 tie. They’re an outside bet, but can’t be completely ruled out either.
7. Getafe – 15.00
The Madrid-based club has suffered a terrible run of form since the season restart, tasting victory just once in seven games. It’s effectively ended hopes of a top-four finish in La Liga.
Now Getafe must focus on a top-six finish and find a way to overcome Inter Milan in the Europa League last-16.
6. AS Roma – 15.00
The Giallorossi barely got past Gent in the previous round and will now have to face Sevilla in the last-16. A run of three defeats in their last four league games doesn’t help their odds.
5. Sevilla – 9.00
The record five-time winners are in the mix for another one after easing past CFR Cluj on the away goal ruling in the Round of 32, with Roma and then potentially Wolves/Olympiacos coming up next.
4. Wolves – 7.00
Nuno Espirito Santo has done brilliantly these last three years at Molineux. He’s led Wolves back to the Premier League and established them as a top-10 outfit. But can he go one better by winning the Europa League?
The bookmakers seem to think so ahead of the return leg of Wolves’ last-16 tie against Olympiacos, where they hold an away goal advantage.
3. Bayer Leverkusen – 6.25
After missing out on a top-four finish in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen will be out for glory in Portugal next month. After all, winning the Europa League secures them Champions League football again.
And with a 3-1 aggregate advantage over Rangers, the bookmakers expect them to reach the quarter-finals at least.
2. Inter Milan – 5.50
The revitalised Nerazzurri are flying high under Antonio Conte and are one of the strong favourites to win the Europa League. They’ll meet the struggling Getafe in the quarter-finals.
1. Manchester United – 3.00
While it’s been a bit of an up-and-down campaign for the 2016/17 winners, they’ve hit their stride lately to mount a challenge for the top-four Premier League spots and make themselves firm favourites to win the Europa League.
And considering United are already 5-0 up against LASK in the last-16, a quarter-finals spot against either Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen is practically guaranteed.
Round of 16: 5/6 August
Quarter-finals: 10/11 August
Semi-finals: 16/17 August
Final: 21 August