The Europa League is an annual football tournament organised by UEFA. Previously known as the UEFA Cup, the competition has been running since 1971. While it certainly plays second fiddle to the more prestigious UEFA Champions League, it’s still a major event in the European football calendar. As such, there are multiple matches and potential outcomes that can be bet on.
The two tournaments work together, with teams at the bottom of the Champions League table dropping down into the Europa League. The current tournament structure starts with eight groups of four teams, a total of 32 clubs. In a similar change to the one that will be implemented in the Champions League structure in the 2024/25 tournament, that number will go up to 36 qualifying teams.
Each team plays all the other teams in that group twice (eight matches in total), both at home and away. The group winners advance to a knockout round. Those that finish second in their group enter play-offs with eight drop-out teams from the Champions League, while those that finish third in their group go into a play-off round for the chance to enter the Europa Conference League. The teams at the bottom are out of the league completely.
The eight group winners are drawn against the winners of the eight play-off ties, at which point the tournament becomes a straightforward knockout competition, with the winning teams progressing to the quarterfinals, the semi-finals, and the finals.
To qualify for the Europa League, an English team must finish fifth in the Premier League. The first four teams go to the Champions League. The winners of the FA Cup also qualify automatically, and the winners of the Carabao Cup qualify for the Europa Conference League.
Outright winner bets are a frequently used type of bet on the Europa League, but as with any tournament, predictions can be difficult to establish, especially in the early stages. You can place an outright winner bet on any competing team before the tournament starts, or at any point during the event, but the odds you get will, of course, change over time. This makes Europa League final predictions tricky, especially at the early stages of the tournament.
Early betting odds are based on who the favourites are at that point, whereas later odds will be dependent on new developments, and the Europa League can be full of surprises. Due to the way that the European leagues work, even action in the Champions League can hugely impact Europa League predictions and therefore odds. If a major team drops down into the Europa League, then the odds will shift dramatically. This happened, for example, to Barcelona in 2022, Sevilla in 2021 and Manchester United in 2020.
One of our Europa League outright betting tips is simply to study the form of the teams over time, but also remember that a team’s performance across the season isn’t always a perfect prediction of success. Eintracht Frankfurt shocked pundits by winning the Europa League in 2022 after a less-than-stellar season. Sevilla’s win in 2023 was perhaps less surprising (after all, the club has won more times than any other). However, it came on the heels of an unusually poor season for the Spanish club and took a lot of football fans by surprise.
Accumulator bets, or accas for short, are another popular type of bet in the Europa League. Every game is played on a Thursday evening, and accas are available across various markets. Many fans like to stick to smaller accumulators because Europa League score predictions are hard to make, and shock results do happen. Examples from the 2022/23 season that few bettors predicted are Panathinaikos beating Villarreal, AEK Athens beating Brighton, and Raków Częstochowa drawing with Sporting.
Betting enthusiasts will most likely have their own ideas about the best Europa League tips in regard to accas, but most would agree that placing several bets at closer to evens odds can give you a good chance of making a profit, depending on the market you choose. In the 2022/2023 edition, for example, there was an average of almost three goals per game, so an accumulator bet of over 2.5 goals per game would have been a good choice, given the pre-tournament odds.
There are a lot of betting markets to choose from in this tournament, but some bets you might want to consider include:
Both Teams To Score (BTTS) bets – Europa League BTTS predictions aren’t easy to make, but matches are action packed, with both teams scoring in the majority of games. An acca on over 2.5 goals – As mentioned above, an accumulator bet on over 2.5 goals can potentially be a good choice. Backing an underdog at double chance – In an event where shock results do happen, it can be interesting to bet on an underdog sometimes, especially with a double chance, as they’ll only need to draw.
Always check extra time restrictions on any bets you place. Many bets only apply in the first 90 minutes of the game.
Many people still wonder about this one, because away goals used to carry more weight than goals scored at home. The rule was, however, abolished in 2021, and now all goals are equal within the tournament.
England: The team in fifth place in the Premier League and the team that wins the FA Cup automatically qualify. The winners of the Carabao Cup qualify for the Europa Conference League.
Europe: In each eligible European country, teams qualify for the Europa League due to their respective final standing in their domestic league or their performance in domestic cup competitions. Higher-ranked teams enter later in the qualifying rounds.
From the Champions League: Teams that originally qualify for the Champions League enter the Europa League by dropping down if they lose in the fourth qualifying.
You may be wondering, where is the 2024 Europa League final being held? The final will be played in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 22nd May. Europa League final predictions aren’t easy to make because anything can happen. The best you can do is study team and player form and consider how finals tend to play out in this particular tournament. Here are some stats to consider:
These Europa League football tips can help you better understand the wagering options for this iconic tournament. Visit our football betting page to check out odds on all the current football fixtures and events, as well as more Europa League predictions during the season.
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