After being suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the 2019 UEFA Europa League resumes in August. Like the Champions League, UEFA have also decided to stage the Europa league “final eight” (quarterfinal onwards) in a mini-tournament format, which will take place in a single country. The “final eight” will be staged in Germany across four cities, namely, Duesseldorf, Cologne, Duisburg, and Gelsenkirchen.
In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG looks at the 5 strongest favourites to win the Europa League, Europe’s secondary club football competition.
1. MANCHESTER UNITED
The Red Devils are the outright favorites among the remaining teams in the competition, and with their current form, they are on course to clinch the trophy come the end of the season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been boosted by the arrivals of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo in the January transfer window and the returns of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba from injuries. Additionally, should United miss out on the top four in the EPL, the Europa League represents an alternative way for them to secure Champions League football next season.
Manchester United won their first and only Europa league in 2017.
The most successful team in Europa League history with five(5) titles to their name, Sevilla are seeking to further strengthen their dominance in the competition by winning a sixth title. Their vast experience in the competition will do them a world of good.
Sevilla were champions in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
3. INTER MILAN
Antonio Conte’s men dropped into the Europa League after finishing 3rd in the Champions League group stage behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. _The Nerrazurri_ were tipped to challenge Juventus’ dominance in the Serie A at the start of the season but have fallen short so far. Thus, the Europa League represents their best opportunity to claim a trophy this season. With the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Lautauro Martinez, Ashley Young, Alexis Sanchez, and Victor Moses in their ranks, Inter have a strong chance of winning the trophy.
Inter Milan have won the Europa league three(3) times in their history (1991, 1994 and 1998)
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (WOLVES)
Since gaining promotion to the Premier league in 2018, Wolves have been punching above their weight impressively. They secured European football at just the first time of asking, and they surely look at home on the continental stage. Nuno Espirito Santos’ team comprises of the likes of Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore, Neto, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, and Joao Moutinho, and they are a tough nut to crack on their day. Wolves are capable of battling it out with any of the remaining teams in the competition, so don’t write them off!
Wolves reached the Europa League final in 1972, losing out to Tottenham. They are one of clubs that have not won the Europa League.
5. BAYER LEVERKUSEN
Leverkusen are the weakest team on this list but cannot be underrated due to the fact that they dropped to the Europa League after finishing 3rd in their Champions League group behind Juventus and Athletico Madrid — where they gave a good account of themselves. The _Die Werkself_ are looking to win the Europa League for the 2nd time in their history and will prove to be difficult opponents to face for the other teams in the competition due to their style of play, with tenacity and speed being their major strengths. Leverkusen boasts of exciting young players like Kai Havertz, Mousa Diaby, Paulinho, and Leon Bailey in their ranks.
Bayer Leverkusen won the Europa league in 1988.
- AS Roma
- Shakhtar Donetsk
- Eintracht Frankfurt
Written by Muftaudeen Abdullahi Ishola