When the first round of qualifying for the UEFA Europe League, the second-tier competition of European club football, began last summer, the final, scheduled for May 26, 2023, seemed very far away. Yet now that we are nearing the end of March, to all the remaining participants of this prestigious competition the finals seem very close and achievable. And again, they still have a long way to go, because there are 16 teams left that are fighting for only two places to play at the Miejski in Gdansk Stadium on Wednesday, May 26 this year.
We are sure that you have been watching all the most interesting games every Thursday since the beginning of the season and that you have your favorite club to support. The best situation if your favorite team is among the 16 remaining and if it won the first game of the Round of 16. But even if you don’t have your favorite among the remaining clubs, you certainly enjoy betting on this very interesting competition. And since the end is relatively near, you might consider betting on who will win the competition. With 16 teams left, the odds are still very good. So find out who is favored to win the Europa League in 2023 to know which club to invest your money on.
Round of 32
Before we move on to the analysis of the biggest favorites to win the Europa League, let’s first briefly analyze the Round of 32. Since the Europa League has 16 participants more than the Champions League, it also has one knock-out phase more. And that is Round of 32. Most of the favorites made it to the next round, but a few of them failed.
First of all, Leicester City, which lost to Slavia Prague and was considered one of the favorites to win the Europa League. Also defeats of Bayer Leverkusen and Napoli were not expected. PSV Eindhoven lost to Olympiacos in a very interesting two games, and Benfica to Arsenal same way. Real Sociedad played a disappointing first game against Manchester United, and the closest to the big surprise was Red Star Belgrade, which played a draw with Milan twice.
Who is favored to win Europa League in 2023?
1. Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
As of today, according to the information provided to us by bookmakers from ufa.bet, the London club Tottenham is the first favorite to win. The 2019 UEFA Champions League finalist who then beat Ajax in an incredible semi-final and then lost to Liverpool in the final is very dominant in this year’s Europa League. Led by one of the best head coaches ever Jose Mourinho, anything but a title in this competition would be considered a failure this year. Especially because they are currently occupying eighth in the Premier League and have little chance to qualify for European competitions in that way. That is why they will rely on their best players Kane, Lamela, Bale and many others to bring them the third title in history in this competition, and the first after the 1983-84 season. In the first match of the Round of 16, they routinely beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0, so they are very close to the quarter-finals.
2. Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United is another English club on our list, certainly one of the most popular and most successful in the world. We very rarely see in Man Utd in this competition because they usually play in the Champions League and fight for the title there. Yet since they finished third in the Champions League group stage this year behind Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, we are now looking at them in the Europa League. They are in a much better situation than Tottenham in the national championship, where they occupy the second position. They are led from the bench by the famous goal scorer and very inexperienced head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær. However, a very well-balanced team, which has both amazing young players and famous veterans, is achieving excellent. Maybe even better than expected. They have no weak points in the team, so it is very difficult to beat them, as they proved a few weeks ago when they defeated their city rival Manchester city, which was in a series of over 20 matches without defeat. Because of all this, Man Utd will be Tottenham’s biggest rival until the end. However, it will not be easy for them in the rematch against Milan because they played a draw in the first match at home.
3. Arsenal F.C.
For the third time in the row, English club, more precisely the club from London. City rival to Tottenham. Like Man Utd, they are led by former famous football player, and a very inexperienced manager Mikel Arteta. Arsenal has not been even close to the results they achieved in the early 2000s, so they are now tenth in the Premier League, which is very bad for the team of their reputation. However, one cannot expect much better results from this club, because most of the players are not quality enough to play for the best clubs in the strongest European leagues. They will try to achieve the best possible result in the Europa League and they are certainly on the right track. In the first match of the Round of 16 they beat Olympiacos 1-3 away.
4. AFC Ajax
Like Man Utd, they come as a third-placed team from the group stage of the Champions League. They certainly had higher expectations, having played the Champions League semi-finals two years ago, but Atalanta and Liverpool were better. Therefore, they will focus as much as possible on winning this competition, as they have practically secured the title in the Eredivisie where they have a huge advantage over second place PSV Eindhoven and third place AZ Alkmaar. Ajax achieved convincing win against Young Boys.
5. A.S. Roma
The Italian club from The Eternal City has been struggling with their identity since the legendary Francesco Totti retired in 2017. They have good players every year, but they fail to achieve greater success in both Serie A and European competitions. Since the title in Italy is far out of reach this year again, as it has been for more than 20 years, all the focus has shifted to the Europa League. They played a great first match and beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 at home. They hope to be able to repeat the fantastic run from the 2017/18 season when they beat Barcelona and barely lost to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.
These are the 5 biggest favorites to win the title, and also Villarreal and Milan should not be written off because they are two very high-quality clubs. Everyone else has only a theoretical chance to make it to the finals.