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Europa League picks

Your go-to destination for Europa League picks and tips. Packed with great players and glamorous elite clubs, Europa League betting is a great experience because of the quality of those involved and the huge prize on offer for the winning club – a place in next season’s Champions League. Enjoy Europa League picks from our expert handicappers.

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Europa League knockout stage betting preview

This season’s Europa League knockout stage is one of the most exciting for many years. The quality of the teams has increased with plenty of Champions League regulars in this season’s competition including Barcelona, who are appearing in this tournament for the first time since 2003. How will they fare against Napoli in what is being dubbed the ‘Maradona Derby’? And could Sevilla increase their record for most Europa League trophies to seven? In our Europa League knockout stage betting preview, we give you the lowdown on the teams who have the best chance of lifting the trophy, as well as some who may surprise you by going far in the competition.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund go into the knockout round as favorites to lift the trophy after dropping into the competition from the Champions League. In the Bundesliga, Dortmund sit second behind Bayern Munich. They have been scoring plenty of goals, but are not as defensively sound as you would expect. They have conceded 31 goals in 20 league matches and kept only two clean sheets as of the start of February. Dortmund has won many games by simply outscoring the opposition rather than being solid at the back, something they will need to improve upon once they face better quality teams that can withstand their attacks.

A man who can rarely be stopped is Erling Haaland, who has been on fire once again this season with 16 goals from his first 14 league appearances. The ever-reliable Norwegian striker will no doubt be key to Dortmund if they are to go far in this tournament.

Sevilla

Sevilla hold the record for most Europa League trophies won, with six to their name. They have had a strong first half to the La Liga season and are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid at the start of February. There is plenty of reason to believe they have a great chance of getting to the semi-finals at least.

Sevilla’s strength lies in their defensive capabilities. They are a very difficult team to score against, keeping clean sheets in half of their league games this season. In fact, Sevilla conceded just 16 goals in their first 22 league games. At the same time, they have been efficient going forward, scoring 34 goals and failing to convert in just two games during that time.

This Sevilla side is a team without many weaknesses and will be very difficult to break down. It will be interesting to see how well they manage to balance their La Liga title hopes and Europa League ambitions. With their experience in this competition, we expect the Andalusians to get into the latter stages.

Barcelona

Barcelona endured a poor Champions League run this season which saw them score just two goals in six group games. They won both matches against Dynamo Kyiv but struggled against Bayern Munich and Benfica. Xavi took over as manager of the club in November and has been allowed to sign players in the January transfer window. These new signings have made Barcelona look like a new side with a fresh attacking force.

Their league form has improved under Xavi, losing just one game in his first three months at the helm. If new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres, and Adama Traore can link up effectively, then this Barcelona side could go far in this tournament. Pair a new attack with an experienced defense that has played in the knockout stage of the Champions League many times before and you have a potentially formidable side.

West Ham United

It’s an exciting time if you are a Hammers fan. David Moyes has the team playing their best soccer in years, as well as bringing the best out of his players such as Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio. West Ham are in Europe for the first time since 2016/17, when they lost in the Europa League qualifying round.

They came top of their Europa League group this season, winning four games against decent opposition in Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Vienna, and Genk. This has allowed them to go straight through to the second round of the knockout stage.

Fans would love to see West Ham go on a decent run in the Europa League, as it is their first time playing in the latter stages of a European competition for decades. However, we aren’t too sure if they possess enough quality throughout their squad to trouble some of the bigger names in the tournament. This is not to say West Ham won’t score a goal or two, but their defensive problems may let them down.

At the back, West Ham are liable to making mistakes and with a back four with an average age of 30, they may find it difficult to stop attacks with pacy forwards. In the Premier League this season, they have found clean sheets hard to come by - only keeping five and conceding an average of 1.35 goals per game as of the start of February.

Porto

Porto are having a brilliant domestic season so far and are unbeaten in 20 league games, winning 18 of those going into February. They have racked up 53 goals in that time, conceding just 14. They face Lazio at home, where they are particularly strong, in the first leg of their knockout game. Winning their first 10 home league games this season while averaging 2.70 goals per match shows how clinical they can be.

They may be ones to watch in this tournament with sportsbooks offering a generous price for them to lift the trophy.

Atalanta

Italian side Atalanta are most sportsbooks’ fourth favorite to win. They came third in their Champions League group, meaning they now face Olympiakos. Atalanta has plenty of quality within their side – something which is reflected in their Serie A position. Sat in fourth place at the start of February and averaging two goals per game, they are a team that can score a hatful on their day. Atalanta are also decent at the back - managing to keep a clean sheet in seven of their first 22 league games.

The Italian side should be able to get past a stubborn Olympiakos team, and possess the attacking threat to trouble some of the best sides in the tournament, but we would stop short of backing them to win it outright.

Top scorer

Karl Toko Ekambi is the tournament’s joint top goalscorer after the group stage with six goals. The Lyon forward is having a great tournament so far, averaging a goal every 55 minutes. Due to the French side topping their group, they have a pass straight into the round of 16. The man level with him on six goals, Galeno, has switched from Braga to Porto, so may now have an even better chance of progressing deep into the competition. Five goal Patson Daka and Leicester did not qualify for the knockouts so he won’t be challenging Ekambi and Galeno for the golden boot. Cameroon international Ekambi is well capable of scoring multiple goals per game as seen in his two braces during this season’s Europa League. We fancy him to bag a couple more goals and end up the competition’s top scorer. But with prolific scorers Erling Haaland and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang entering the fray in the knockout stages, a strong series of performances could yet see a different name top the scoring charts.

Europa League best bets:

Winner: Sevilla (+700)

Finalists: Sevilla vs Barcelona (+3,300)

Top Goalscorer: Toko Ekambi (Lyon) (TBC)

Dark Horse: Porto (to lift the trophy) (+2,500)

Fixtures: February 17, play-off round

Sheriff vs Braga

Borussia Dortmund vs Rangers

Zenit St Petersburg vs Real Betis

Barcelona vs Napoli

Porto vs Lazio

RB Leipzig vs Real Sociedad

Atalanta vs Olympiakos

Sevilla vs Dinamo Zagreb

Teams straight into round of 16:

Lyon, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Eintracht Frankfurt, Galatasaray, West Ham United, Bayer Leverkusen, Red Star Belgrade

Europa League Odds

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Odds updated: May 21, 12:27 AM UTC

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