Due to the Europa Conference League and some big guns failing to make it through the Champions League group stages, this year’s Europa League is one of the most competitive renewals in recent history.
Spanish and English sides have dominated this competition in recent years, winning the last ten tournaments, with Spain having the upper hand with seven wins to England’s three.
Europa League 2021/22 winners prediction
Sevilla at 7/1
Of the Spanish domination, one team in particular has made this competition their own, Sevilla.
The winners of four titles in the last eight years, the Sevillistas are also in strong form this year and could take home another Europa League crown.
Julen Lopetegui’s side are just four points off top spot in La Liga, with the help of the best defensive record in the division.
Too many draws put paid to their Champions League chances in a competitive group but back in their favoured competition, they are to be feared.
The club, masterminded by highly rated director of football Monchi, have managed to retain the services of centre back Diego Carlos and add Anthony Martial on loan from Manchester United.
With an easier tie than most, against Dinamo Zagreb, the Spanish side can make it to the round of 16 with ease and look an attractive proposition to progress all the way to the final, which is set to take place in their home ground, the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
With their home support guaranteed to be behind them for the final, the conquerors of this competition may be worth keeping on side at 7/1.
Europa League 2021/22 dark horse prediction
RB Leipzig at 14/1
Another team who could make a big run at this year’s Europa League are RB Leipzig.
The German side endured a terrible start to the season domestically and that poor form bled over into their Champions League campaign, where they failed to make a major impression on a group with PSG and Manchester City.
However that poor form saw manager Jesse March depart, replaced by Domenico Tedesco.
Leipzig took four points from the new boss’ first three games but the winter break came at the perfect time for the manager to impose his ideas on the squad and they have burst out the blocks after the break with four wins from four.
The Germans face a tricky tie against Real Sociedad but after a strong start to the season the Spanish sides’ form has fallen off somewhat and Leipzig may be well positioned to take advantage.
The Red Bull side showed in their victory over Champions League favourite Manchester City that they can go toe to toe with the best sides on their day and they may prove an intriguing prospect to win the Europa League at 14/1.
A German side has not reached the final of Europe’s secondary competition since 2009 and not won it since 1997 but if RB Leipzig have shown anything in their rise to the top, it’s that they are happy to break traditions.
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