Unlike the Champions League qualifiers, which is in the third round, the excitement is just beginning to build in the Europa League.
Over 45 games were played in the last round of qualifiers in the competition. That’s more than 80 teams starting the race to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League. For the teams that progressed from the first round of the Europa League qualifiers, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
And all that work starts this week.
Over 30 games are set to be played this week, with 60+ teams in action.
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If you’re looking for the best teams to bet on in this multitude of games, one way is to look at the best performers from the previous round of games.
While NSI were the biggest winners from the preliminary round, a 6-0 loss to Aberdeen brought their run to a halt. Up next for the Scottish team in their journey is Norway’s Vikings. The Norwegians are just joining the race for qualification at this stage.
Just like Aberdeen, Bodo/Glimt was the only other side to score six goals in the 1st qualifying round. After eliminating Kauno Zalgiris, a Lithuanian side, they are set to face Zalgiris in the next round, another Lithuanian side.
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As the qualification journey progress, teams are falling by the way… and other teams are joining in the contest.
Later this week, the qualifiers will see some top names in European football seek qualification.
One example is Tottenham.
In what is already a packed schedule for Premier League teams, Spurs will take on Lokomotiv Plodiv this week. It will be the first of the four games they still have to play this month. Another team that joins the race at this stage is AC Milan.
One of the busiest Italian sides in this transfer window, Milan return to the European scene with a game against Shamrock Rovers. Galatasaray, Granada, Rangers, and Wolfsburg are some of Europe’s top teams joining the race for qualification.
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Taking our attention back to the big winners from the previous round, we have Apollon, AG, and Motherwell. Those three sides scored five goals and will be aiming to score more when they face their next opponents.
It’s still a long way out before the Europa League group stages resume. Teams that have gained automatic qualification for the league are now waiting for the Europa League qualifiers to play out so they can resume their campaign of unseating the reigning champions, Sevilla.
Which of these games can you predict? Drop your message below and join the conversation.