The second-highest level of club soccer in Europe comes in the form of the Europa League. It is the level just below the Champions League, and just above the newly formed Europa Conference League. Despite this, there have been some excellent Europa League players to have played in the competition throughout its history, and it remains a popular betting option for gamblers given the unpredictability of the fixtures that are played.
The Europa League has competed in a range of formats since being established in 2009. It has also gone under a number of different names during this period, including the UEFA Cup. The tournament was established in its current format in 1971, as it replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The number of competitions on the continent was reduced further in 1999, as the UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup merged together.
Meanwhile, the format of the competition has also changed throughout its history, with the group stage introduced in the 2004-05 season. The Europa League was born in 2009 following a merger with the Intertoto Cup to produce a larger competition. Since the 2014-15 season, the team that wins the Europa League is also assured of a place in the group stages of the Champions League in the following season.
Making wagers on the Europa league fixtures throughout the season is popular for bettors. All of the leading soccer sportsbooks will offer markets for the games that are played throughout the season, and there are some interesting betting markets available to bettors.
The most popular way to remain invested in the competition throughout the season can be found in the outright betting market. Bets can be placed in this market on the team that the bettor believes will win the Europa League. This market changes throughout the season, with the biggest shake-up coming in early December, as teams drop out of the Champions League and into the Europa League. In order to get returns on your selection, the team that you have wagered on must win the Europa League.
The first stage of the Europa League proper comes in the group stage. Bets can also be made on the leading sportsbooks for this stage of the competition, as bettors can wager on the teams that will top their Europa League table. Group winners immediately progress through to the knockout rounds, which means that the best teams will likely be the favourites in the betting.
Another way to bet on the Europa League teams competing in the competition is in the match result market. This is the most popular market for individual games throughout the competition, as the bettor must correctly predict the team that will pick up the win. A draw is also an option in this market. In order to get returns, the selection made by the bettor must be correct. The bet is settled after 90 minutes, which means games that go to extra time will be settled at the full-time whistle and don’t include extra time.
The teams that back up the Europa League are based on UEFA coefficients. Ten teams that are crowned champions of the lowest-ranked nations enter in the Champion route of the qualifying round, while six further teams enter at this stage in the Non-champions route. The playoff round features 20 teams, which includes six domestic cup winners from nations placed between seventh and 12th in the coefficients. Teams from the previous round also continue into the playoff round, while six losing teams from the third round of Champions League qualification also enter.
The group stages then get underway with the 32 qualified teams. This is made up of six domestic cup winners from nations ranked first to sixth in the coefficients, and also includes the Europa Conference League title holders. The top team from each group progresses through to the knockout round, while the teams that finish second in their respective groups enter the preliminary knockout round. Teams that finished third in their Champions League groups also enter the Europa League at this stage.
Teams that are successful in that round then join the eight group winners from the group stages of the Europa League. Two-legged fixtures are then played in the round of 16, quarterfinals, and semi-finals. The two teams that win their semi-final then clash in the Europa League final at the end of May.
The most successful nation when it comes to winners of the Europa League is Spain. Spanish teams have recorded 13 victories in the Europa League, while English and Italian sides have won the top title on nine occasions. Throughout its history, the Europa League has been won by 29 different clubs, with 14 teams having won the title on more than one occasion. The most successful team in the history of the Europa League is Sevilla, as the Spanish side has won the competition on six occasions.
The highest scorer in the history of the Europa League is Henrik Larsson. He scored 31 goals in 45 games across spells with Feyenoord, Celtic, and Helsingborg during his established career. Meanwhile, Jan-Klaas Huntelaar is the second-highest scorer, as he hit 34 goals in 54 games.
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