Europa League Match Day 1 preview and tips
The 2018/19 Europa League group stage kicks off on Thursday 20 September, with Chelsea and Arsenal heading the betting although we should bear in mind that eight teams will ultimately drop out of the Champions League to compete in this tournament.
Chelsea’s first match takes place in Greece against PAOK Salonika and the Blues are 1.75 with bet365 to claim an early three points, with Maurizio Sarri potentially rotating his team for this clash.
The Greek side are trading at 4.75 for a victory and it remains to be seen how seriously Chelsea will take this competition although it does offer a potential route back into the Champions League.
Arsenal are a 1.12 chance to enjoy a winning start in Europe, with the Gunners coming up against Vorskla, with the visitors having finished third in the Ukrainian top flight this season, their highest position yet.
Marseille will be looking to go deep in the competition this season and bet365 offer 1.75 that the Ligue 1 team beat Eintracht Frankfurt, with the German side trading at 5.00 to claim a surprise win in France.
Sevilla are also among the favourites to win the Europa League, with the Spanish side having to swap the Champions League for its younger brother this season although they’re massive favourites at 1.25 to beat a Standard Liege team who might be contend to defend against a team usually so strong at home.
Rangers are back in Europe and Steven Gerrard’s side have been handed a tough opener away to Villarreal, with the Scottish side having won several play-off games to reach this stage of the competition.
The Yellow Submarine are a 1.28 chance to win against the Gers and they will be confident against a side who were soundly outplayed by Celtic in a recent Old Firm clash.
Celtic are the other Scottish representative in the competition and they’re expected to fare a lot better than their Old Firm rivals, with bet365 going 1.44 about a victory against Norwegian opposition.
Rosenborg are 6.50 to claim the spoils and they might fancy catching their opponents cold at this early juncture in the season.
RB Leipzig are 1.90 to beat their fellow Red Bull team, with Salzburg having done really well in the competition last term and they are 3.50 to carry on where they left off by landing a maximum haul.
Olympiakos overcame Burnley to reach this stage of the Europa League, with the Greek side trading at odds of 2.50 to win the game against Real Betis.
The Spanish side are a 2.75 poke to win in Greece and get their campaign off to a winning start.