Although the Europa League group phase is yet to officially conclude, the competition received its customary influx of new entrants at the completion of the Champions League’s own mini league on Wednesday night.
Sixteen European trophies are shared among the gaggle of eight new arrivals and vaunted clubs like Manchester United, Porto and Valencia all help to make the case that Uefa’s second tier competition is now actually more intriguing than it’s big brother.
With the tournament already boasting powerhouses like Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, there could be some tasty-looking ties thrown out of the hat during Monday night’s draw.
But who are the most dangerous Champions League deferrers? Here’s Ladbrokes News’ take on the three biggest threats:
Los Rojiblancos have a formidable recent record in this competition, yet are handed a double-figure price to retain the title they won last season.
Sevilla have claimed the Europa League four times in their history. They claimed back-to-back successes in 2005/06 and 2006/07, then repeating the trick in the most recent two campaigns.
As an unseeded side in the round of 32 draw, they are almost certainly the club all the others will want to avoid.
The Portuguese arrive in the Europa League having amassed the most Champions League group-stage points of the eight new entrants.
Their most recent European success came in 2010/11 when winning this trophy and a fearsome record at home – where they’ve lost just three times in 40 all-competition outings – gives them an edge for this year’s edition.
After failing to progress from a Champions League group containing Bayern Munich and Arsenal by goal difference, the Greeks are seeded for the Europa League round-of-32 draw and are surely a massive price on that basis.
Thrylos have been heavy scorers throughout the current campaign and a plum draw will give them a good chance of adding their first ever European trophy to a cabinet stacked full of domestic honours.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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