Europa League offers Liverpool best chance of silverware

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Liverpool may have already seen their chances of winning the Premier League go up in smoke, but Roy Hodgson still has a solid chance of winning some silverware in his first season at Anfield in the Europa League.

The 63-year-old masterminded Fulham’s route to the final last season and is well on track to ensuring that Liverpool are comfortable qualifiers in the top two from Group K.

Despite not always playing with the utmost fluency, Liverpool have taken five points from their opening three games and have taken useful points from their away trips to Utrecht and most recently Napoli.

Both of these games have finished goalless and keeping things tight away could be especially beneficial in the latter stages of the competition when the knockout stages are decided over two legs.

Liverpool are 9/1 to win the Europa League and with squad rotation prevalent at Anfield, Hodgson may find that a number of his fringe players star in the competition as they look to secure more first-team opportunities.

Meanwhile, Hodgson has already shown this season that sorting out Liverpool’s Premier League troubles is his number one concern, which has resulted in a number of back-up players being given a run out in the Europa League.

Influential duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were both left at home for the Napoli clash, while Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger were among the other names missing through injury.

However, Liverpool still gained a point against one of the competition’s other leading challengers, which definitely provides some optimism over what can be achieved when these players return.

Liverpool still have return legs to play against Napoli and Utrecht and an away tie with Steaua Bucharest, but a repeat of early performances should be enough to see them win Group K, which can be backed at 4/11.

Manchester City top Group A and are the current favourites at 9/2 to win the Europa League. See the whole Europa League winners betting odds market.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.