Eintracht Frankfurt shocked the football world by winning the Europa League last season. The Eagles knocked off far more fancied teams including Barcelona and West Ham en route to winning the trophy.
The 2022/23 UEFA Europa League could once again throw up surprises as the second tier club competition prepares to kick off the group stage in September. The Europa League is full of surprises, which often sets it apart from the UEFA Champions League.
The Premier League will be well represented this season in the Europa League. Arsenal and Manchester United will compete in the tournament, and bookies have the two Premier League clubs set as the favourites to win the Europa League ahead of the first matchday.
The Europa League Final will be played in Budapest with 32 teams battling to reach the tournament's showpiece game. The introduction of Champions League teams could alter the outcome of the competition when those clubs join for the round of 16.
The Europa League is an incredibly exciting tournament to follow and it delivers some fascinating match ups that the Champions League fails to do. Let's explore the UEFA Europa League betting odds for this year's competition and the teams set to kick off the group stage.
Europa League Betting Odds
Can Arsenal make the most of their favourite's tag going into the Europa League? The Gunners have the best Europa League odds ahead of matchday No. 1 in the group stage. Here is a look at the best betting odds to win the 2022-23 UEFA Europa League.
Man United 8/1
Real Betis 25/1
Real Sociedad 25/1
PSV Eindhoven 33/1
Union Berlin 40/1
Red Star Belgrade 100/1
Dynamo Kyiv 100/1
Union St. Gilloise 100/1
Sturm Graz 150/1
FC Zurich 200/1
Ludogorets Razgrad 200/1
AEK Larnaca 250/1
Sheriff Tiraspol 250/1
Omonia Nicosia 500/1
You should keep in mind that these are the teams that will start the Europa League group stage. After the Champions League group stage, the third place teams in each group will move to the Europa League last 16 playoffs.
The last 16 playoffs will feature the second place teams in each Europa League group against the third place teams in the Champions League groups.
The playoff ties are to give the competition strong teams to compete in the knockout phase. In addition, the playoff for the last 16 prevents Champions League teams from moving to the Europa League and benefitting from their poor play in the former competition.
Last season, the two Europa League finalists, Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers, started the season in the group stage of the Europa League. In Rangers' case, they finished second in their group and had to defeat Borussia Dortmund over two legs in the last 16 playoffs to continue in the competition.
Who are the favourites?
Arsenal currently lead the betting odds to win the Europa League 2022-23 according to betting sites ahead of the group stage. Mikel Arteta's team has started the Premier League in fine form. There is a strong possibility that Arsenal can start the Europa League unbeaten, thus raising expectations that they could win the tournament.
Manchester United are the second favourite to win the Europa League according to betting sites. Man United are at the best Europa League odds of 8/1 to lift the cup. The Red Devils won the tournament in 2017, defeating Ajax in the final.
Roma are the reigning UEFA Europa Conference League winners. Their victory against Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League last season allowed for automatic inclusion in the Europa League 2022-23 group stage.
Mourinho's team is at the best betting odds of 14/1 to win the Europa League, while Lazio, Roma's city rival, are at 25/1.
Teams from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Eredivisie, and Bundesliga make up the bookies' top 10 favourites to win the competition. Cyprus's Omonia Nicosia have the longest odds to win the tournament at 500/1.
Based on the teams in the group stage, two of the clear dark horses are Bundesliga clubs Freiburg and Union Berlin. Freiburg continue to improve every season under coach Christian Streich.
In 2021-22, Freiburg reached the German Cup Final, losing to RB Leipzig on penalties. This is a team that has been around the top half of the table in German for the last few years and a deep run in the Europa League is possible.
Berlin's second team is quickly becoming its first. Union Berlin are on the rise in both the German capital and the Bundesliga. Union are a well run club and have worked hard to build from the ground up.
Feyenoord are one team to keep an eye on. The Rotterdammers reached the Europa Conference League Final last season, losing to Roma. Feyenoord are a strong side and could put together a solid European campaign once more.
Outside the top six leagues, Fenerbahce could do some damage in this year's UEFA Europa League. The Turkish giants have started the season well. With Turkey not at this year's World Cup, this could be the perfect opportunity for a Super Lig team to win a European competition.
Former Benfica manager Jorge Jesus is now in charge of Fenerbahce. He has seen a lot of turnover in the playing squad this summer. Key arrivals include Diego Rossi from Los Angeles FC, Joao Pedro from Cagliari, and Josh King from Watford.
If you are looking for a long shot, by all means, you could place £10 on 500/1 shot Omonia Nicosia. Of course, you likely won't win that wager. So, let us look at a few possible long shots to win the Europa League.
Both Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers were long shots to win the Europa League 2021-22 when the tournament kicked off in September of last year. Bet365 had Eintracht Frankfurt at the best betting odds of 25/1 to win the tournament from the outset. Rangers were 50/1 to win the tournament. If you place an each way outright winner bet on this year's Europa League, some leading sportsbooks are giving you 1/2 odds.
So, which sides are good long shot bets for this year's tournament? Belgium's Union St. Gilloise nearly lifted the Pro League title in 2021-22. This is just Union's second consecutive season in the top flight of Belgian football after a long time away.
Union St. Gilloise are co-owned by Brighton owner Tony Bloom and they are fuelled on analytics, just like the Seagulls. Union were knocked out of the Champions League qualifying rounds by Rangers and will now play in the Europa League group stage. Union are 100/1 to win the tournament.
Another mouth-watering long shot pick to win the competition are PSV Eindhoven. The Dutch club was eliminated from the Champions League qualifying rounds by Rangers, just like Union St. Gilloise. PSV Eindhoven have some top talent and as long as manager Ruud van Nistelrooy can keep ahold of his best players this summer, the Lightbulbs have the chance to lift the trophy.
Europa League Dates
The Europa League will kick off the first full week of September. This year's tournament will be a sprint as the competition must be finished by the middle of November.
The FIFA World Cup will cause chaos this season for UEFA competitions. Both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League must complete all six matchdays before the World Cup kicks off in November.
Traditionally, the Champions League and Europa League group stages are played deep into December. This season, both competitions must be finished a month earlier than usual.
Teams across Europa competing in UEFA competitions will play a large number of games domestically and on the continent. In some cases, teams will play just under 20 matches in around 77 days before the World Cup.
Here are the official dates for 2022-23 Europa League.
Group stage: September 8 to November 3
Knockout ties and playoffs: February 16 and February 23
Last 16: March 9 and March 16
Quarterfinals: April 13 and April 20
Semifinals: May 11 and May 18
Final: May 31
The Europa League Final will be held in Budapest at the 67,000 plus seat Puskas Arena. The venue was used for the 2020 UEFA Super Cup between Bayern Munich and Sevilla. The Puskas Arena is the home ground for the Hungary national team.
In the United Kingdom, BT Sport will show all Europa League matchdays live on the channel and app. Fans will have the chance to watch Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League matches live on BT Sport.
Europa League Teams
Union St. Gilloise
Red Star Belgrad
Europa League Groups
Here is a look at each group and the betting odds on each team to win each group.
PSV Eindhoven 4/1
FC Zurich 14/1
View all Group A odds.
Dynamo Kyiv 7/2
AEK Larnaca 8/1
View all Group B odds.
Ludogorets Razgrad 12/1
Real Betis 15/8
View all Group C odds.
Union Berlin 7/4
Union St. Gilloise 4/1
View all Group D odds.
Manchester United 4/7
Real Sociedad 2/1
Sheriff Tiraspol 12/1
Omonia Nicosia 16/1
View all Group E odds.
FC Midtjylland 6/1
Sturm Graz 6/1
View all Group F odds.
View all Group G odds.
Red Star Belgrad 10/3
View all Group H odds.
Europa League Past Winners
The Europa League was previously known as the UEFA Cup. The tournament was rebranded in 2009 as the Europa League.
Prior to the 1997-98 tournament, the UEFA Cup/Europa League had a two leg final format. For the final in 1998, the format of the final was changed. Below is a list of winners of the UEFA Cup/Europa League from 1997-98 onwards.
Inter Milan - 1998
Parma - 1999
Galatasary - 2000
Liverpool - 2001
Feyenoord - 2002
FC Porto - 2003
Valencia - 2004
CSKA Moscow - 2005
Sevilla - 2006
Sevilla - 2007
Zenit Saint Petersburg - 2008
Shakhtar Donetsk - 2009
Atletico Madrid - 2010
FC Porto - 2011
Atletico Madrid - 2012
Chelsea - 2013
Sevilla - 2014
Sevilla - 2015
Sevilla - 2016
Manchester United - 2017
Atletico Madrid - 2018
Chelsea - 2019
Sevilla - 2020
Villarreal - 2021
Eintrach Frankfurt - 2022
Europa League Most Wins
Sevilla have won the most UEFA Cup and Europa League tournaments. The Spanish team has won six UEFA Cup/Europa League trophies over the years.
Los Rojiblancos first won the Europa League in 2006 and a season later, they did it again. Between 2014 and 2016, Sevilla won three consecutive Europa League tournament trophies. Their most recent Europa League tournament win came in 2020. Sevilla are always dangerous when they play in the Europa League whether they start the Europa League group stage or begin in the Champions League and move to the second tier competition after Christmas.
Coach Unai Emery led Sevilla to three of their six Europa League trophies. He is the all time winningest coach in the tournament's history with four wins. Emery also led Villarreal to the Europa League trophy in 2021.
Europa League Top Goalscorers
Henrik Larsson has scored more goals than any other player in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Larsson played for three different teams in the competition (Feyenoord, Celtic, and Helsingborg), scoring 31 goals in 45 matches.
Here is the top five all time top goalscorers in Europa League history.
Henrik Larsson - 31 goals
Radamel Falcao and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - 30
Dieter Mueller - 29
Aritz Aduriz - 26
Edin Dzeko and Alessandro Altobelli - 25
Does the Winner of the Europa League qualify for the Champions League?
The winner of the Europa League automatically qualifies for next season's UEFA Champions League. The Europa League offers a great incentive of making the Champions League for next season to the winner.
At one time, clubs looked down upon the tournament as UEFA's secondary competition. Now, with the winner qualifying for the next season's Champions League, winning the competition is more important than ever. Many "smaller clubs" now see winning the Europa League as a possibility, thus making the UCL.
Eintracht Frankfurt had never qualified for the Champions League prior to winning the Europa League Final 2022. This season, Eintracht Frankfurt are competing with the big boys of European football in the European Cup, something most fans never expected to occur.
Europa League Odds and Betting
With the Europa League set to kick off on September 8, now is the time to place your outright winner bet. While you will be able to wager on individual matches throughout the tournament and leading betting sites provide great bonuses all competition long, this is the time to lock in your odds on an outright winner bet.
Last season, Eintracht Frankfurt were 25/1 to win the tournament from the start. A £100 bet on Eintracht Frankfurt at this stage last season would have won you £2,600. That would have been a profit of £2,500.
Arsenal and Manchester United have tempting odds at 11/2 and 8/1 respectively. A £100 bet on Arsenal at 11/2 odds would return £650. A £100 punt on Man United at 8/1 odds would return £900.
Based on the two Premier League clubs' early season form, it is tempting to take a punt on either one to win the competition. However, the demands of the Premier League could stop either one from winning the Premier League.
Keep in mind that Jose Mourinho is the master of cup competitions. He led Roma to the Europa Conference League trophy last season and previously won the Europa League with Man United in 2017. The Giallorossi look good at odds of 14/1. Lock in those odds now and a £100 bet on Roma would return £1,500. An each way bet on Roma to win at 14/1 of £100 would return £1,400, but remember, you would need to double your stake.