- Italian side Lazio slide from +900 to +2800 after being drawn alongside Celtic, Rennes and CFR Cluj
- English clubs rule the day as Manchester United (+500) and Arsenal (+650) enjoy shortest odds
- Experienced Sevilla (+1200) and newcomer Wolves (+1600) offer second-tier value
Friday’s UEFA Europa League group stage draw left us with more questions than answers: Will Celtic be able to navigate a tricky Group E? Group C could be a true dogfight with the likes of Basel, Krasnodar, Getafe and Trabzonspor all believing they can advance.
German outfit Monchengladbach and Austrian side Wolfsberger AC will likely cannibalize each other in Group J, with Roma the odds-on favorite to win the group and Turkish squad Istanbul Basaksehir lurking in the background.
Sevilla’s relative dream of a draw — in Group A with Cyprus’ APOEL, Azerbaijan’s Qarabag and Luxembourg’s Dudelange — positions them well to advance into the knockout round and make its trademark run in the competition.
2019-20 Europa League Odds
Odds taken 08/31/19
We also saw Serie A side Lazio’s Europa League odds make a substantial move from +900 to +2800.
In the early-August edition of the odds, Manchester United opened as favorites, and both they and Arsenal saw their odds knocked down following Friday’s draw.
United drew a fairly tame group, with Astana, Partizan Belgrade and AZ Alkmaar — three clubs who have each made it past the group stage just once in the last four years.
5 – AZ Alkmaar will be the fifth different Dutch side Manchester United have faced in European competition; the Red Devils have lost both of their last two visits to Holland, at PSV in September 2015 and Feyenoord in September 2016. Tricky. #UELdraw pic.twitter.com/SzUnm56a1I
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 30, 2019
Nonetheless, Alkmaar could prove tricky.
Arsenal, meanwhile, got off slightly tougher with Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege and Vitoria Guimaraes; while Unai Emery’s Gunners are the undisputed top dog in the group — best finances, squad talent, stadium, etc — away trips to raucous stadiums in Germany, Belgium and Portugal could complicate things.
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@Eintracht) August 29, 2019
Frankfurt’s legendary support could make for an intimidating environment for the likes of Liege, Guimaraes and even Arsenal.
Manchester United (+500): While it’s hardly been a dream start to the Premier League for the Red Devils, they will likely outclass their Group L competition and cruise into a favorable round of 32 matchup in the knockout round. Once in the round of 16, anything can happen — and United’s path to that stage looks to be the smoothest of any team currently in the competition.
Manchester United to win the Europa League again? 🏆 pic.twitter.com/cSaABAbKp7
— Goal (@goal) August 31, 2019
Sevilla (+1200): It’s a bold pick, but also isn’t: new manager Julen Lopetegui’s entered a club where Europa League trophies are a key part of the foundation — as evidenced by the dismissal of his predecessor, Pablo Machin, following a round of 16 loss to Slavia Prague back in March. The rojiblancos expect to be contending come next spring, and have an easy Group A path to the round of 32 (and likely, 16).
Lazio (+2800): Even at their lengthened odds and accounting for their recent history of advancing to the knockout stage, Lazio is not a play worth pursuing. The club has only reached the quarterfinals once since 2012-13, and the overall trend of Italian teams is dire: No Serie A club has even made the tournament final in this century (Parma was the last, in 1998-99).
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