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5 teams that can win the Europa League

16 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
5 teams that can win the Europa League

Liverpool or Tottenham must overcome these sides if they are to reach May's final in Switzerland and claim a coveted Champions League spot

7/1 – Borussia Dortmund

Jurgen Klopp who?

The charismatic manager’s decision to step down after seven years appears to have rejuvenated a Dortmund side that so badly underperformed last season.

New boss Thomas Tuchel has won his first nine games in charge, with four of those coming in the Bundesliga where the club are joint-top with Bayern Munich.

BVB demonstrated their sincere intentions to take this tournament seriously in the pre-qualifiers, scoring 22 goals in four fixtures to seal their place in Group C alongside PAOK, Krasnodar and Gabala.

Dortmund boast a stellar recent record in Europe – including reaching the Champions League final in 2013 – and the world-class talents of Mats Hummels and Marco Reus should flourish in this competition.

16/1 – NapoliundefinedDespite being winless so far in Serie A, new coach Maurizio Sarri has taken over a team capable of claiming the club’s first European trophy for more than 26 years.

While Napoli’s victory in this competition in 1989 is their first and only non-domestic honour, they did come very close to matching that achievement last season.

The Partenopei, who have played in the Europa League for four of the last five seasons, were beaten in the semi-finals by Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

But with the scoring prowess of Gonzalo Higauin, who is probably the best striker in the tournament, they should comfortably progress from Group D – which also features Club Brugge, Legia Warsaw and Midtjylland – and, once again, be major contenders.

25/1 – VillarrealundefinedSpanish sides have won seven of the last 12 Europa Leagues and Villarreal are more than capable of improving that record further.

There are many reasons for the success of La Liga clubs in Europe’s second-tier competition, but their domestic fixtures regularly being played on Sunday nights – meaning that there is no need to rearrange matches as in the Premier League – is certainly a significant factor.

Villarreal, who were knocked out by eventual winners Sevilla in the round of 16 last season, are fourth in their top flight with seven points from three matches.

They should ease past Viktoria Plzen, Rapid Wien and Dinamo Minsk in Group D – particularly as Roberto Soldado finally resembles the top-class striker Tottenham spent £30m on just two seasons ago.

25/1 – MonacoundefinedMonaco have endured a sluggish start to the season, claiming eight points from their first five Ligue 1 fixtures and being beaten 3-0 by Paris St Germain.

That was perhaps to be expected, though, considering that they sold key assets such as Geoffrey Kondogbia (to Inter Milan) and Anthony Martial (to Manchester United) in the summer.

But many of the players that inspired the principality to the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League – where they eliminated Arsenal along the way – remain, while they were unfortunate to miss out on the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition when losing to Valencia in last month’s play-off.

Leonardo Jardim’s side are defensively resolute and should progress from a Group J that also features Tottenham, Anderlecht and Qarabag.

40/1 – Dnipro DnipropetrovskundefinedOne of the most inspiring football stories last season was Dnipro’s run to the Europa League final.

The Ukrainian side ultimately lost their first-ever European final to Sevilla, but it still represented a remarkable achievement considering they were forced to play their home games 400km away in Kiev due to the country’s ongoing conflict with Russia.

Can the club go one better this season? The loss of playmaker Yevhen Konoplyanka to Sevilla on a free transfer has hardly improved their chances.

But Dnipro have started their domestic season impressively and are third after 14 games, while no side – including Group G opponents Lazio, Saint-Etienne and Rosenborg – will relish a trip to Eastern Europe. An old footballing cliché, but true nevertheless.

Europa League betting

READ: Why Liverpool and Tottenham should prioritise the Europa League this season