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5 favourites to win the 2017-18 Europa League

Arsenal are the current frontrunners

As the 2017-18 Europa League continues apace, it’s already possible to ascertain the favourites for outright tournament glory.

A number of sides have already recorded convincing victories in the competition. And with the tournament still in its infancy, there are some good odds to be had about the eventual Europa League winners.

The Coral News Team look at the main contenders for European success this season.

Arsenal

The Gunners made their Europa League debut with a 3-1 home win over Koln. In that display they demonstrated the qualities that have seen them installed as the 11/2 favourites for the competition.

First and foremost, Arsenal have incredible strength in depth. Up-front the North Londoners can call upon any one of Olivier Giroud, Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez or Danny Welbeck. If one member of that quartet does not feature in the Premier League the week before, it’s a likely bet they’ll start in the Europa League.

Out-of-favour and recovering players will also be made use of. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will all get game time in the competition. And that’s without even considering Matt Macey and Reiss Nelson. Arsenal’s European experience, mixed with a combination of youth and dexterity in defeating weaker sides, makes them deserved tournament favourites.

AC Milan

Second favourites at 6/1, the Italian giants are on the march once again. Milan kicked off their campaign with a 5-1 win against Austria Wien. If that result is anything to go by, the Rossoneri should make light work of Group D.

Striker Andre Silva is also in fine form. The 21-year-old netted a hat-trick against Wien to go alongside his brace versus Shkendija in the qualifiers. A defence that includes six-time Serie A title winner Leonardo Bonucci also stacks up as one of the best in the competition.

Villarreal

This is Villarreal’s fourth consecutive season in the Europa League. After underachieving last year, they’ll be hoping to go one better than their semi-final defeat to Liverpool in 2016.

The Coral News Team certainly think they have the personnel to reach this year’s final in Lyon. Goals come in the form of Nicola Sansone and Enes Unal. While defensive solidity is provided by Portuguese-Italian pairing Ruben Semedo and Daniele Bonera. Villarreal are 16/1 to win the tournament.

Athletic Bilbao     

Fellow La Liga outfit Athletico Bilbao also come in at 16/1 for tournament victory. The Basque club are an organised side who play neat football, despite a disappointing start to their league campaign.

They have the pedigree as well. Los Leones have reached the Europa League quarter-finals and final since 2010. Plus, San Mames is a notoriously difficult place to go. Athletic have won their last six at home in European competition and have only lost eight out of 94 home fixtures against foreign sides.

Lazio

Lazio have started the season in fantastic form. Le Aquile have won five of their opening seven games. That run includes a narrow 3-2 victory in a tricky tie away at Vitesse in their first group game.

Impressively, the Rome-based club have hit 19 goals already this season. With that kind of firepower, their odds of 18/1 could start to seem somewhat overpriced.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing