Coral top price on Spurs, but side with rejects in Europa League betting
Coral may be offering the top industry price of 8/1 on Tottenham winning the Europa League, but there is high possibility that the competition will be won for the fourth time in six seasons by a Champions League failure.
Tottenham’s price has been the subject of much change in recent days, starting the week as the 9/2 favourites in the Europa League betting, before being pushed out to 13/2 after Juventus were confirmed as finishing third in their Champions League group.
This price has since drifted slightly again, following the completion of the Champions League group stages, with the full list of eight dropouts consisting of Juventus, Shakhtar, Benfica, Viktoria Plzen, Basel, Napoli, Porto and Ajax.
Juventus are the new favourites at 9/2, but the best bet may prove the 4/5 that any of the eight teams formerly involved in the Champions League take advantage of their second European chance by winning the Europa League.
This format has only been in existence for five seasons, with Shakhtar in 2008/09, Atletico Madrid in the following campaign and Chelsea last season all profiting from a drop to Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Some may argue that the Champions League rejects may not show the same enthusiasm for the Europa League, but Juventus and Napoli especially stand out as likely contenders in the latter stages of the competition.
With the 2014 Europa League final taking place in Turin, Juventus have every incentive to take the competition seriously and they are without a European trophy since 1996.
Napoli are 10/1 in the Europa League odds, with Coral again offering the top price, and their case could be even stronger.
Rafa Benitez has shown himself to be a real cup manager in the last decade, guiding Valencia to the UEFA Cup in 2004, Liverpool to the Champions League in 2005, Inter Milan to the World Club Cup in 2010 and then Chelsea to the Europa League last season.
With silverware at four successive clubs, Napoli must feel confident of winning a trophy of some type under Benitez and as they are already eight points adrift of Juventus in Serie A, the Europa League may be deemed their best opportunity.
Napoli’s last European success was also in this competition back in 1989.
Basel beat Chelsea in both meetings in the Champions League this season, which shows they could be even more of a danger in a knockout environment, ahead of in a group phase, while Ajax beat Barcelona in their group.
Throw in that Shakhtar, Porto and Benfica have all played in Europa League finals in the last five years and it is only really Viktoria Plzen who are difficulty to fancy to reach the latter stages of the tournament, although they did only lose 1-0 to Bayern Munich and scored twice away at Manchester City.