As we know, European football was back this week. The Champions League bought some exciting games and some shocks, but now it’s time for the Europa League to return.
As we did earlier in the week with the Champions League, we’ve now had a look at who could win UEFA’s ‘B’ competition.
Inter are flying right now and, in all honesty, are a team that should be in the Champions League. Were they not placed in the group of death with Barca and Dortmund, they may still be.
Juventus have won eight Serie A titles in a row over in Italy, but, this year, they finally have challengers.
Lazio are up there, and so are Inter. Milan are just three points behind Juve and the race promises to go all the way.
Antonio Conte has bought a breath of fresh air to the club since joining in the summer and he’s a man that knows what he’s doing. He has a talented squad including the likes of Romelu Lukaku and, now, Christian Eriksen, and we’re not surprised they’re favourites.
How did Cristiano Ronaldo make the Serie A more competitive when it’s Antonio Conte that’s pushing Juventus to the edge ?
— Ugbedeojo (@Certifiedopeboi) February 11, 2020
We’ve written a lot about Manchester United over the last few months – mainly negatively – but there’s little doubt whether a club the size of United should be challenging in a competition like this.
Manchester United have conceded just 2 goals in the Europa League this season, fewer than any other team in the competition.
Solid. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/kAjAlxVVsP
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 20, 2020
As terrible as they are to watch and as far off they are of the standard they should be, they’ve had some good results this season. Not many teams should beat them over two legs – and winning this competition may be their only route back into the Champions League this season.
Sevilla are the Europa League kings. Admittedly, it was under a different manager they had their success, but they certainly know what it takes to win the Europa League.
They’re fighting for fourth in La Liga this season, so, admittedly, their priorities may be else where, but they still look strong in this competition.
They face Cluj in the first knockout round, too, which should be a comfortable victory. We’ll see how it goes.
Arsenal’s best shot at getting back into the Champions League next year is to win the Europa this season. It’s as simple as that.
Their current league position, in all honesty, is because of how their season started. Since Arteta has taken over, they’ve been better.
🥅 Average goals conceded per match under Unai Emery: 1.45
🥅 Average goals conceded per match under Mikel Arteta: 0.8
— VBET UK (@VBET_uk) February 18, 2020
In a two-legged tie the Gunners will fancy their chances against anyone in the competition.
Admittedly, Ajax’s latest golden generation of last season is no more. That’s why they’re in this competition.
They seems like they’re going to win their domestic league again – they are six points clear of second place AZ Alkmaar – so they may turn their focus to Europe.
There is plenty of talent there. It just depends if it can deliver. After their Champions League disappointment, there will be an extra desire there to prove themselves.
Robin van Persie has avoided controversy among his former clubs by naming Manchester United and Arsenal as favourites to win the Europa League this season.
I would say that Ajax and Inter are favourites to be honest
— Instant Football (@InstantFootieUK) February 20, 2020
Whilst these five may look like most likely, write other teams off at your peril. The likes of Wolves 13/1, Roma 16/1, Benfica 33/1 and even Celtic 60/1 are all still in the running for the trophy.
Let us know who you think will be crowned Champions in May. And why not have a bet?
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