The Europa League final has become a more significant day for fans in England in recent years. With the Premier League so competitive, the fight for a place in the top 4 and subsequently gaining Champions League qualification is harder than ever.
Which means English sides have targeted the Europa League final, as it carries a prized Champions League place for the winner. Last season, Manchester United won the Europa League final, will we see another English side win it this year?
In this article, we’re going to discuss the key details you need to know if betting on the Europa Cup final, as well as look at the chances of another English side winning it.
Europa League Final – The competitors
The Europa League is now down to the semi finals. Four teams are competing for a chance to play in the Europa League final on the 16th May at the Stade de Lyon in France.
The semi finals are played over two legs, whereas the Europa Cup final is a one off match. The first legs of the semi final, which are Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg, and Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid, take place at 20:05 on April 26th.
The second legs of these matches will be played on May 5th, at the same time.
Perhaps the most impressive run is this tournament so far is that of Red Bull Salzburg. The Austrians are punching well above their weight (despite the heavy financial backing Red Bull provide) and have knocked out some big teams in their quest for a Europa League final win. The pick of those wins was their victory over heavily backed Dortmund in the last round.
Arsenal have come through the competition more or less on auto-pilot. They eased through the group stages before beating Swedish side Ostersund and then AC Milan to reach the semis. If you’re interested in reading more about The Gunners, you’ll find Arsenal’s Europa League journey in more depth later in the article.
French side Marseille just about scraped through the group stages finishing runners up to Red Bull Salzburg. So this is the second time the sides face each other in this years Europa League, with Red Bull winning the first game 1-0, and the second being a 0-0 draw.
Atletico Madrid are the favourites to win the competition this year, and qualified for the Europa League after finishing third in the Champions League group behind Roma and Chelsea. They are 11 points behind Barcelona with 6 games left in La Liga, so the Europa Cup final represents their last realistic chance at winning some silverware this year.
Europa League – Odds To Win
Firstly, with two big semi-final matches on the horizon, we’ll look at the odds* for the teams to win their first leg matches, qualify for the Europa League final and also to win it entirely.
*Odds are correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change.
Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid
Arsenal go into the home leg as slight favourites, and will need to ensure a good win in the first leg, as they have been very poor away from home this season.
|6/4 (2.5)||12/5 (3.4)||17/10 (2.7)|
Over the two legs, Atletico Madrid are odds on favourites to make it to the Europa League final.
|13/8 (2.62)||1/2 (1.5)|
Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg
Marseille are odd on favourites in the home leg of their clash with Red Bull Salzburg in their Europa League semi final clash.
|Marseille||Draw||Red Bull Salzburg|
|7/10 (1.7)||13/5 (3.6)||4/1 (5.0)|
Marseille are also odds on favourites to make it to the Europa Cup final.
|Marseille||Red Bull Salzburg|
|8/13 (1.61)||6/5 (2.2)|
The Europa League odds to win the competition are pretty much as you would expect. So if you want to bet on the Europa League winner, it may be difficult to find anything that’s exceptional value at this stage. Unless, of course, you feel that a team like Red Bull Salzburg are being underrated by the bookies.
|Team||Europa League – Odds to win outright|
|Atletico Madrid||11/10 (2.1)|
|Red Bull Salzburg||6/1 (7.0)|
Arsenal – Road To The Europa League Final
Following a disappointing Premier League campaign in the 2016/17 season, Arsenal had to make do with a place in the Europa League. For a club like Arsenal, that had qualified for the Champions League for 19 seasons straight – an English record – this was extremely disappointing.
The Champions League is obviously more prestigious, it is the elite club competition in the world. But financially, it massively overpowers it’s younger sibling, the Europa League.
This is probably why Arsenal didn’t really seem that interested in it earlier in the season, they had their sights on getting a Champions League place back through finishing in the top 4 of the league. Attendances were quite clearly very low for Europa League matches, despite attendance figures saying otherwise (Arsenal report tickets sold, not the number of people to make it through the turnstile).
But despite playing weakened sides, Arsenal continued their march towards the Europa League final, finishing top of their group on 13 points, with 4 wins, 1 draw and a loss, scoring 14 goals in the process.
In the following round, they played Swedish side, Ostersunds, and came away from the first leg with a 3-0 win. The second leg got a little worrying for them for a moment, when it looked like the Swedish minnows may just pull off the shock of the century. They were 2-0 up at the Emirates after just 23 minutes and pushing for a third to level things on aggregate. But Arsenal scored just after the break, and that was that!
Then Arsenal were drawn against AC Milan, which looked like a potential banana skin, as the Italians had improved following the sacking of Vincenzo Montella. Arsenal produced a fantastic performance away in the San Siro and came away with a 2-0 win before finishing the job off 3-1 at home.
And lastly, in the quarter finals, Arsenal moved even closer to the Europa League final when they produced a 4-1 win at home to CSKA. It looked a bit scary in the away leg, as the Gunners went 2-0 down just after half time. With lots of crazy comebacks in the Champions League that week, people were left wondering whether another was on the cards in the Europa. However thanks to a fantastic piece of play by Danny Welbeck and an injury time equaliser from Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal sailed through.
On paper, they now have the hardest draw against Atletico Madrid. But if there is one thing Arsene Wenger has down in recent years, it’s that his team can pull it out of the bag when it matters and still win trophies.
So if you want to bet on the Europa League winner, Arsenal may well be worth a look.
How OddsMonkey Can Help You Make Money On The Europa League Final
Maybe you’ve come to the same conclusion as us, finding a good bet on the Europa League this year has become pretty difficult. There isn’t much value anywhere.
What if there was an alternative way you could place bets on the Europa League final and even improve your chances of making money?
Well, actually there is a way. And it’s something that, at OddsMonkey, we have helped thousands of people to do.
We help people from all walks of life make money with a process called Matched Betting which has been featured in newspapers such as The Guardian and The Telegraph.
We have created lots of guides, sophisticated tools, and a welcoming community forum to help our members make money each and every month.
The Europa League actually provides a great opportunity to do that too. When big events take place, the bookmakers offer potentially lucrative welcome bonuses to new customers, which you can take advantage of.
If you’d like to learn more about Matched Betting, you can do so by watching this video.