Another Europa League season is set to kick off September.
The current winners of the trophy, Atletico Madrid will not be retaining their title this year. According to the rules governing the competition, the winner of the Europa League title automatically qualifies to play in the next UEFA Champions League season.
So for the current winners, they will be exempt from fighting for this trophy – this is at least true till when it can be known if Atletico Madrid can qualify for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League or not.
In their absence, 64 other teams will be pushing for a final berth and a chance to win the trophy. While some of them have gained qualification automatically, others are still fighting for qualification, a fight that has been on-going since July.
This week and the next will see play-offs of the qualification stage. Those that don’t will have to try again next year. The games to look forward to include:
- Torpedo Kutaisi vs. Ludogorets
- Zenit vs. Molde
- Trenčín vs. AEK Larnaca
- APOEL vs. Astana
- Sheriff vs. Qarabağ
- Sūduva vs. Celtic
- Sigma Olomouc vs. Sevilla
- Sarpsborg 08 vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv
- Malmö FF vs. Midtjylland
- Atalanta vs. København
- F91 Dudelange vs. CFR Cluj
- Basel vs. Apollon
- Olympiakos Piraeus vs. Burnley
- Zorya vs. RB Leipzig
- Partizan vs. Beşiktaş
- Olimpija vs. Spartak Trnava
- Rapid Wien vs. FCSB
- Genk vs. Brøndby
- Rangers vs. Ufa
- Rosenborg vs. Shkendija
- Gent vs. Bordeaux
If you’ve been following the qualification round for a while, you may find some clubs that were eliminated from the UCL qualifiers. As part of the new rules, those teams, after getting eliminated in the UCL, automatically gain entry into the Europa League qualification race.
That being said, which of those 21 games would you like to bet on?
One name you may want to consider is CFR Cluj. The Romanian side is one of the few teams that kept a clean sheet in their third qualifying round of games. Other teams that did not concede in their last two qualifiers include AEK Larnaca, Suduva, Basel, Burnley, Molde, Rosenborg, Sevilla.
Click here to predict and win.
You may want to also consider the teams that scored a lot of goals in the previous round while you’re thinking of which of these games to bet on. The highest scoring side was Zenit. The Russian outfit scored an average of 4 goals per game in their last two qualifiers.
There were other teams like CFR Cluj, AEK Larnaca, Olympiakos Piraeus and Olimpija that couldn’t match Zenit but scored 7 goals over the course of two games. Worthy of mention is Georgian side, Torpedo Kutaisi that conceded an average of 2 goals per game and still managd to make it to the playoffs.
From out of the 21 games listed above, which one will you be betting on? Which teams will you be backing to win? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.