Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
The Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League all return next month so now looks like an ideal time to revisit the outright markets in the three UEFA competitions.
This winners treble pays out at 449/1 and can be covered as an each-way bet, which would require all three teams to reach the finals rather than win the respective competitions. Read on to see who we’re backing and why.
Manchester City at 11/4
Manchester City are the favourites to lift the Champions League crown this season and deservingly so. City did lose twice during the group stages but one of those losses came in the final round of fixtures at RB Leipzig when they had already qualified as group winners and the other was a 2-0 loss at PSG, where they dominated for large periods but were unable to finish their chances.
Pep Guardiola’s men have continued to improve in the time since the group stages came to an end and they have won eight of their nine games since the loss at Leipzig, with one draw. City appear on course to win the Premier League title and as such they can prioritise Europe. It is hard to see any team beating them over two legs, the final itself will be a different matter as a one-off game and their previous failures in the competition are also a concern – but on current form they look well placed to win Europe’s top prize for the first time in their history after last season’s final defeat to Chelsea.
Sevilla at 7/1
Sevilla find themselves in the Europa League after dropping out of the Champions League and they may be able to add to their record six titles in Europe’s second tier tournament.
Chelsea (twice) are the only non-Spanish side to win the tournament in the last nine editions of the Europa League and of the La Liga contingent involved this year Sevilla look the standout candidates to secure the trophy. Los Nervionenses sit second in Spain’s top flight and have lost just two league games all season, they also only lost two group stage games before dropping down from the Champions League as too many draws proved to be their undoing.
The Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan side have a very winnable play-off double-header against Dinamo Zagreb and they should be able to come through that test comfortably to book a place in the last 16. One concern in backing Sevilla is they may prioritise the title fight in La Liga if it remains close, but their Europa League record and recent results domestically are hard to ignore and they look the team to beat after falling at the first hurdle in the Champions League.
Europa Conference League
Feyenoord at 14/1
The Europa Conference League looks the hardest of the three competitions to call but at 14/1 Dutch outfit Feyenoord have real appeal. De club aan de Maas took this tournament seriously in the group stages as they emerged as group winners after four wins and two draws, meaning they won’t be involved in the play-off round.
Feyenoord are behind a few teams who have dropped down from the Europa League in the betting, such as domestic rivals PSV and favourites Leicester, but those teams may see this tournament as a distraction and as such an outsider may be the way to go in the Conference League – and the Rotterdam club look like the pick of the bunch.
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