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Europa League Review – What’s The Current Situation?

The Europa League has undergone something of a change this season. With the arrival of the Europa Conference League, a number of teams that would have ordinarily played in this competition (16 in total) have been moved to the Conference League instead.

The net result has been a slimline Europa League of much higher quality, with eight groups of four teams mirroring the Champions League set up.

A new look for the competition also means a slight change to the qualification system for the knockout phase too, with the top eight teams in each Europa League Group Stage group earning a place in the Round of 16. However, the eight teams that finish second in the group will face a Qualifying two-legged game against the eight teams finishing third in their Champions League group.

The winner of these two-legged ties then progress on to the Round of 16.

This makes it a much higher quality Europa League than in previous years and thisSports streaming in March 2020 has been reflected in the group stage, which has proven to be very evenly contested across most of the groups.

Of course, betting fans have enjoyed plenty of Europa League betting with bet365 Sport over the last few months and you can enjoy more this week with extensive pre-match and In Play betting options available.

Remember too, if you are based in the United States then BetRivers Sportsbook offers excellent soccer coverage throughout the year, including on the top European club competitions.

Let’s now take a look at how the Europe League is shaping up this season.

Europa League – Tables & Fixtures

All odds shown were courtesy of bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing but may have changed since. All games take place on Thursday 25th November kicking off at either 5.45pm or 8pm. All teams have played four games in the group stage.

Teams shown in bold have already qualified, teams shown in bold italics have also confirmed themselves as Group Winners.

Group A

  1. Lyon – 12 (+9)
  2. Sparta Prague – 4 (-3)
  3. Rangers – 4 (-1)
  4. Brondby – 2 (-5)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Brondby v Lyon
  • Rangers v Sparta Prague

Match Previews And Tips

Lyon are the only team to be confirmed through and also group winners in the Europa League and they are the only team with a 100% winning record after four games. That means they can play a rotated team against Brondby and Rangers if they so wish, which won’t please Sparta Prague any.

The key game here is Rangers against Sparta with the winner of that likely to be in a very strong position to take second place in the group behind Lyon.  I’m backing Lyon to land a win in Denmark at 11/10 and also for Rangers to earn a key win over Sparta Prague at 4/5.

Group B

  1. Monaco – 8 (+2)
  2. Real Sociedad – 6 (+1)
  3. PSV Eindhoven– 5 (+2)
  4. SK Sturm Graz– 1(-5)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Monaco v Real Sociedad
  • PSV Eindhoven v SK Sturm Graz

Match Previews And Tips

Assuming that PSV Eindhoven can win their home game, that would put them on eight points in the group, which makes the Monaco v Real Sociedad game all the more important. Neither side has been beaten in this group as yet and I think that will continue here as I feel that the smart bet here is the draw at 23/10.

As I stated before PSV should beat Sturm Graz and they are strong favourites at 2/11 to do so. However, it will mean it is all to play for on the final set of games in this group if these results prove to be correct.

Group C

  1. Napoli – 7 (+5)
  2. Legia Warsaw – 6 (-4)
  3. Leicester City – 5 (0)
  4. Spartak Moscow – 4 (-1)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Spartak Moscow v Napoli (Wed)
  • Leicester City v Legia Warsaw

Match Previews And Tips

This is a very tricky group to predict and the games on Thursday this week will have a huge bearing on who eventually qualifies. A win for Napoli will put them through, but a win for Spartak will put them level on points with Napoli heading into the final set of games.

Similarly a win for Leicester could take them top of the group, or second, but would not qualify them. If Napoli and Legia win though, then these two teams would qualify. I can’t see that happening though as I am backing Napoli to beat Spartak Moscow at 8/11 and Leicester to get the better of Legia Warsaw at 1/6.

Group D

  1. Eintracht Frankfurt – 10 (+4)
  2. Olympiakos – 6 (+1)
  3. Fenerbahce – 5 (0)
  4. Antwerp– 1 (-5)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Eintracht Frankfurt v Antwerp
  • Olympiakos v Fenerbahce

Match Previews And Tips

I think this group will likely be decided on Matchday 5 as I think Frankfurt will beat Antwerp (2/5) and if they do that then they will not only qualify, but will be confirmed as the winners of the group.

I also feel that Olympiakos will get the better of Fenerbahce (3/4) and if that is the case then Olympiakos would be confirmed as finishing second in the group, with Fenerbahce confirmed in third, provided that Antwerp lose the game in Germany against Frankfurt.

Group E

  1. Galatasaray– 8 (+2)
  2. Lazio – 5 (+1)
  3. Marseille– 4 (0)
  4. Lokomotiv Moscow– 2 (-3)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Galatasaray v Marseille
  • Lokomotiv Moscow v Lazio

Match Previews And Tips

Galatasaray know a win over Marseille would qualify them for the next stage of the competition and that if Lazio don’t win in Russia against Lokomotiv, then they would do so as group winners. However, Marseille are something of a draw specialist in this group and I am backing the French side to claim another draw here at 12/5.

That would leave them on five points meaning if Lazio win, then they and Galatasaray would progress, but the Italian side have struggled for consistency in this competition this season and I think Lokomotiv are a team to watch out for and as such, I am backing the home side to pick up a win at 7/2.

Group F

  1. Braga – 9 (+4)
  2. Red Star Belgrade – 7 (+1)
  3. Midtjylland – 5 (-1)
  4. Ludogorets – 1 (-4)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Red Star Belgrade v Ludogorets
  • Midtjylland v Braga

Match Previews And Tips

This looks to be another group where everything could well be decided on Matchday 5, apart from who wins the group. That’s because I think Red Star Belgrade will beat Ludogorets (4/11) and that will be enough for them to qualify for the next phase, if Midtjylland do not beat Braga.

However, if Braga win or draw, then they will also confirm their place in the next round of the competition with Midtjylland likely confirmed as finishing in third. That would mean the top seed spot in the group would be contested between Red Star and Braga on the final Matchday. I’d back the draw in Denmark which is 12/5 shot.

Group G

  1. Bayer Leverkusen – 10 (+9)
  2. Real Betis – 7 (-1)
  3. Celtic – 6 (-2)
  4. Ferencvaros – 0 (-6)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Bayer Leverkusen v Celtic
  • Real Betis v Ferencvaros

Match Previews And Tips

Strangely, this is another group that I think will be decided on Matchday five. I can’t see Celtic being able to get anything from their trip to Leverkusen and if the German team do win, which they are 1/2 to do precisely that, then they would qualify.

I also feel Betis will beat Ferencvaros given that the Hungarian side are pointless in the competition so far and if those two results happen, then both Betis and Leverkusen will qualify. The Spaniards are 1/5 to beat the Hungarians on Thursday night.

Group H

  1. West Ham – 10 (+7)
  2. Dinamo Zagreb – 6 (+2)
  3. Genk – 4 (-5)
  4. Rapid Vienna – 3 (-4)

Week 5 Fixtures

  • Dinamo Zagreb v Genk
  • Rapid Vienna v West Ham

Match Previews And Tips

I can’t see West Ham faltering from the strong position that they have built for themselves in this group and I would expect them to pick up three more points from their trip to Vienna (3/5). If they do, then they will confirm themselves as the group winners.

In the second game, Genk need something from this game to give themselves a chance of finishing second in the group, but my gut feeling is that Zagreb on home soil are going to be too strong and will get the win they need to ensure they finish second. The home side are 13/10 to land the win.

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