Europa League: Best Bets after the semi-final draw

Europa League Draw
UEFA Europa League Semi-final draw

The Europa League draw for the quarter-finals threw up a number of interesting ties, while the draw for the last four has also been decided.

Now each of the eight remaining teams knows the path they face on their route to May’s final in Baku, so where does the value lie in the market?

Premier League to reign supreme?

Chelsea and Arsenal still remain in the competition and are two of three tournament favourites.

The Blues are competition favourites at odds of 9/4 which is partly due to the resources they possess but also in part due to their quarter-final draw against outsiders Slavia Prague. Maurizio Sarri’s side are heavily backed to reach the last four at odds of 2/9, while they will face the winners of Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt in the last eight.

Unai Emery – who won the competition in each of his three full seasons at Sevilla – is an expert in the Europa League, with his Arsenal side ranked third favourites at 5/1. However, the Gunners were handed a tough draw and face second-favourites for the competition, Napoli, in the last eight.

The Italian side are at 4/1 to win the tournament and 8/11 to reach the last four, with Arsenal at Evens, while the winners will face Valencia or Villarreal in the last four.

Or will the trophy got to Spain again?

Spain is guaranteed at least one semi-finalist in the competition for the sixth consecutive season, with their remaining two sides – Valencia and Villarreal – to face each other in the quarter-final.

Los Che are among the tournament favourites having knocked out Celtic and Krasnodar to reach the last eight of the competition and will face Villarreal, who lie 60km from their home city.

The Yellow Submarine are struggling in La Liga this season – sitting just one place outside the relegation zone – but have shown impressive form in Europe.

They have eliminated both Sporting CP and Zenit Saint Petersburg and will be hoping for their second Europa League semi-final spot in the space of four years.

Valencia are ranked at fourth favourites for the tournament that they won in 2005, priced at 8/1 with Villarreal at 18/1.

Who are the outsiders?

The three remaining sides in the competition outside of England, Spain and Italy hail from Germany, Czech Republic and Portugal respectively.

Slavia Prague are the least fancied side remaining and are as far out as 7/1 to progress past Chelsea into the last four, while odds of them to lift the trophy in Azerbaijan are at 66/1.

Benfica – who lost consecutive finals in the competition in 2012 and 2013 – are currently atop the Portuguese top flight and are attractively priced at 11/1 to continue their strong recent form all the way to lifting this season’s edition.

Eintracht Frankfurt, the German Cup winners, are also at 11/1 and have excelled in this season’s tournament – eliminating both Shakhtar Donestk and Inter in this season’s tournament.

By:Sam Watt

Football manager is my life, but have taken up writing to help put all that knowledge playing the game to good use. Follow me for all things European football and gain unexpected knowledge about players and teams you didn't know before. When not playing football manager, I take a break to play with my Sunday League team.

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