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5 Outsiders to Watch in the 20/21 Europa League

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Roma Europa League Odds

Roma will be disappointed to be spending another season in the Europa League, but they certainly have one of the strongest sides in the competition this time around. They have kept hold of Edin Dzeko after it looked certain he was off to Juventus and the Giallorossi were able to make Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling permanent members of this threatening Roma squad, as well as Pedro from Chelsea.

Roma were knocked out at the Last 16 stage by eventual winners Sevilla last season, but were Champions League semi-finalists in 2017/18, after that memorable comeback against Barcelona. The club's talisman, Dzeko, has 28 European goals for Roma alone, and with him leading the line, the Italian side have a serious chance at beating any club, home and away.

They have been given a kind draw, with Cluj, Young Boys and CSKA Sofia all making up Group A, and they can be backed at 20/1 to win the Europa League.

Benfica Europa League odds

Benfica blew the chance of playing Champions League football this season, falling victim of the temporary one-legged qualifiers after losing away to PAOK.

The Lisbon club have also lost both Europa League finals they have played in during the last 10 years, in 2013 to Chelsea and in 2014 to Sevilla, so they would love to put those demons to bed.

They have significantly strengthened their squad, adding Everton Soares, Luca Waldschmidt, Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi, despite losing Ruben Dias to Manchester City and Carlos Vinicius to Tottenham Hotspur. Portuguese international Pizzi is the star man, regularly the focal point of attack, chipping in with an extraordinary number of goals and assists over the past few seasons.

Benfica are big favourites to win their group, consisting of Standard Liege, Rangers and Lech Poznan, but they are priced at 28/1 to win the Europa League outright.

Spurs Europa League Odds

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Spurs to win Europa League Odds @ 7/1

Villarreal Europa League Odds

Another side who will be delighted to have avoided any lower-seeded big boys are Villarreal. Qarabag, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Sivasspor join the Yellow Submarine in Group I, and depending on how seriously Unai Emery will take the competition, it looks relatively straight-forward for his new club.

Santi Cazorla has left for the Middle East after a successful second spell at the club, but the signing of Dani Parejo on a free from Valencia is one of the best pieces of business made by any side in Europe this summer. He joins a squad already containing Spanish duo Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno, both capped internationally recently, and Japanese prodigy Takefusa Kubo, who has joined on loan from Real Madrid.

Combine these already established, elite European players with the fact Emery has reached four Europa League finals, winning three of them, and Villareal are perhaps the best outside bet in this Europa League - they have odds of 16/1 to win the trophy.

Odds to Win the Europa League

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Leicester to win Europa League odds @ 20/1

AC Milan Odds

AC Milan had to battle through a marathon penalty shootout with Rio Ave to reach the group stage, winning on the 12th round of kicks. An outstanding run of form since football’s restart in June catapulted Milan up into the European places, having been outsiders to make the top six after a very underwhelming start to the Serie A campaign. Massive wins over Juventus, Lazio and Roma came on a run which has seen them unbeaten since the league restarted, spanning 19 matches.

The signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has coincided with the sudden upturn in fortunes for Stefano Pioli’s men, and at the age of 39, the Swedish maverick is proving he is still capable of performing in Europe. Hakan Calhanoglu is finally producing good form in a Milan shirt, as is Ante Rebic, whilst their defence has looked entirely transformed in 2020.

On paper, Milan’s group looks difficult, with Celtic, Lille and Sparta Prague all established European outfits, but the Italian giants will are the favourites and after a convincing derby win over Inter Milan, Ibrahimovic and co. can not be overlooked this season - Milan to win Europa League is priced at 11/1.

Europa League Winner Odds

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Napoli to win Europa League odds @ 14/1

Hoffenheim Europa League Odds

After a year away, Hoffenheim are back on the European scene, this time in the Europa League thanks to a sixth-place finish in the Bundesliga.

Andrej Kramaric has been in sensational form since the back end of the last season, scoring 13 times in his last six competitive games for the side, including a brace in their sensational 4-1 win over European champions Bayern Munich in September. Hoffenheim have also added Ryan Sessegnon and Sebastian Rudy on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and Schalke, respectively, to bolster what is already a very exciting side.

Drawn with Gent, Red Star Belgrade and Slovan Liberec, there is a very Champions League-underdog feel to this Europa League group, but Hoffenheim will expect to qualify - they are now priced at 33/1 to be Europa League outright winners.

By Andrew Gamble