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(UK time) 21:26:17

Europa League

22 October 2010

Portugal and Russia showing early Europa League dominance

Sporting, Benfica, Zenit and CSKA Moscow are among the teams to have maximum points

Portugal and Russia showing early Europa League dominance

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The Premier League and La Liga are often regarded as the best leagues in Europe, but based on the current Europa League standings, clubs from Portugal and Russia are no slouches.

Of the five teams that have maximum points after three Europa League games, two are from Portugal and another pair are from Russia, virtually ensuring that each country will be well represented in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Sporting have been dominant at the head of Group C, scoring 12 goals in their three victories, but it could be argued that they were given a relatively easy group.

They are 33/1 to win the Europa League, but it may be Portuguese neighbours Porto that have the greatest chance of success.

Porto have been dominant domestically and have already passed their toughest Group L assignment by winning away at Besiktas.

Hulk has been on fire in attack in all competitions and Porto could represent good vale at 14/1 to win the Europa League.

Russian teams have always been tough to oppose on home soil in Europe, but Zenit and CSKA Moscow have also proved more than a match on their travels.

Zenit are still unbeaten 22 games into the Russian season and have showed the same dominance in the Europa League with wins over Anderlecht, AEK Athens and Hajduk Split.

They are also 14/1 to win the Europa League, although fatigue may begin to set in after a long domestic season as the competition reaches its latter stages.

The same problems may face CSKA Moscow, who are still to concede a goal in Group F and have overcome tricky games against Sparta Prague and Palermo.

CSKA are 18/1 to win the Europa League for the second time after witnessing success in its former guise of the UEFA Cup in 2005.

Stuttgart are the other team to have taken nine points from nine and are 25/1 to win the Europa League. See the complete Europa League winners betting odds market.

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editors@ladbrokes.co.uk

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