Swansea and Spurs wins bode well for Europa League hopes

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The Europa League may be seen as something of an afterthought among those clubs competing for Europe’s secondary competition but a bet on either Spurs or Swansea to lift the trophy should be at the forefront of your mind given the odds available.

Andre Villas-Boas has a particular fondness for this tournament having won the title in some style as Porto manager back in 2011. The Portuguese champions notched up an impressive 37 goals en route to lifting the trophy.

Tottenham’s goal-scoring prowess was also on display against Tromso, with Spurs claiming a comfortable 3-0 win that rarely looked in doubt.

The north London club are the 9/1 favourites to lift the title and rightfully so after a summer spent adding significant reinforcements to their squad.

In truth, AVB’s men could have gone the distance last season, falling at the quarter-final stage after a tense penalty shootout defeat to Chelsea’s recent conquerors Basel.

One of the failings of that Spurs side was a lack of depth within the squad, but with that problem seemingly fixed via the additions of experienced European stars like Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela alongside talents like Christian Eriksen and Etienne Capoue, the trophy could now be within reach.

The form of Spurs’ fringe stars will be key with AVB likely to rotate his squad and the Portuguese boss will have been encouraged by the two-goal showing from Jermain Defoe.

Over in Spain meanwhile, Swansea demonstrated just why they have been labelled as dark horses for the Europa League with the Welsh club available at 25/1 with Ladbrokes to claim the title.

Michael Laudrup has instilled a fantastic playing philosophy within this team which was evident last night as the Swans cut through Spanish giants Valencia to claim a 3-0 win at the Mestalla.

The Welsh side have previously demonstrated their cup pedigree in last season’s League Cup win over Liverpool and victory against Chelsea in the two-legged semi-final. There is little to suggest they can’t do the same here.

Laudrup will have been heartened to see three of his biggest attacking threats – Wilfried Bony, Jonathan De Guzman and Michu – all get off the mark with well taken goals.

With surprise Swiss package St Gallen also claiming a win over the heavily fancied Kuban Krasnodar, the path looks clear for Swansea to reach the knock-out stages.

The final is due to take place at the Juventus Stadium next May and on this form it could be an all white day for Spurs and Swansea.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.