2012-13 Europa League Preview

by Thomas

This season’s Europa League tournament looks to be one of the best and most competitive that there has been in some time with a whole host of talented teams taking part.

In the last campaign we saw some top quality football being played and Atletico Madrid lifting the trophy for the second time in three years when they brushed aside Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the final.

You of course have the teams that missed out on qualification from the Champions League group stages enter the tournament at the latter stages and they can always be strong.

After seeing what it meant to Atletico to win the Europa League back in May and the standard of the competition, many clubs are likely to take it a lot more seriously this time out. It has not meant a great deal to teams in recent years, but expect this to be a very competitive tournament this season.

It really should be a superb Europa League this time, especially with the teams that are on show. The likes of Liverpool and Inter Milan, who have won numerous Champions League titles in the past, will be taking part and Atletico Madrid are looking for back-to-back triumphs.

2012-13 Europa League Outright Winner Preview

Odds for T25 Teams

TeamWinner Odds
TeamWinner Odds
Atletico Madrid13.00
Anzhi Makhachkala19.00
Athletic Bilbao26.00
CSKA Moscow26.00
Bayer Leverkusen34.00
VfB Stuttgart34.00
PSV Eindhoven34.00
Rubin Kazan41.00
AZ Alkmaar41.00
Borussia Mönchengladbach51.00
Hannover 9651.00
Sporting Lisbon67.00

After lifting the trophy earlier in the year, Atletico Madrid are being tipped as the current favourites to go all the way again this time out.

As mentioned, you could really see what this trophy meant to every member of the squad and supporters of the La Liga club.

This is a major European title and you have to be a very good side to win it. It was not only the fact that Atletico won the Europa League, but the manner in which they did it – playing fast flowing, attractive, attacking football. Atletico have been put in what looks to be a generous group as well, not going up against any side considered as a major contender for the tournament.

After a Super Cup victory over Chelsea , confidence is sure to be sky high and they know that on their night, they can beat some of the best teams in Europe.

You can back them at 13.00 (Bet365) to win the tournament for a second year in a row.

Then you have three giants of the game – Inter Milan, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all available at 15.00 (BetVictor) to lift the trophy.

All three of these will fancy their chances this year and are certainly huge contenders. Liverpool and Inter will be going for a record fourth victory in the tournament.

Inter Milan had a very poor season by their high standards last time out and this campaign they have had a big revamp in the squad, bringing in younger players and looking to play a more attractive brand of football.

Andrea Strammaccioni will be another manager who is content with the group his side have been drawn in, but will know that when teams go against Inter – they are sure to raise their game.

Liverpool had a very similar kind of season to Inter and not in Europa League due to their league position, but because they won the League Cup.

The Reds are under a new era with Brendan Rodgers in charge and his main aim is to try and challenge for a top four spot in the Premier League, but they should not take this lightly.

If they are to qualify for the knockout stages then Liverpool will need to be in good form as they are in a tough group that consists of Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala – who are a contender for the trophy with odds of 19.00 (Boylesport).

Tottenham did manage to finish in top four of the English top flight last season but such was the success of Chelsea in the tournament that they are now playing in the Europa.

With that in mind, Spurs should be one of the strongest teams in the competition this year, but they also have a new manager in Andre Villas-Boas. They have also lost influential playmaker Luka Modric to Real Madrid along with Rafael van der Vaart, who moved to Hamburg.

However, new signings Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele will be tipped by many to excel in this tournament.

With Lazio and Panathinaikos both competing in their group – the North London club will know they must be at their best to reach the knockout stages.

You then have the likes of Napoli, who were in the Champions League last season, the finalists from the previous Europa League Athletic Bilbao and French giants Lyon all available at 21.00 (Bet365).

Such is the quality in this competition this year, there are 13 teams, including Newcastle, Marseille and Lazio all being offered between 34.00 – 51.00.

As we know, the sides from Europe’s elite club competition will enter the Europa League so the tournament will only get stronger.

2012-13 Europa League Top Goalscorer

It is likely that the strikers from the top sides will be in competition for the Golden Boot in the Europa League.

When talking about natural goal-scorers and in form forwards at the moment, you have to mention Radamel Falcao, who is flying for Atletico Madrid.

Falcao was the leading scorer in the Europa League last season and has started this campaign where he left off with two hat-tricks already.

If Inter Milan, Liverpool or Tottenham are to go far then their main strikers will need to be in good form.

For Inter that is Antonio Cassano, who is one of the more experienced players in the squad.

Liverpool seem to be short of attacking options at the minute and Luis Suarez is sure to need to be clinical if they are to go far.

As for Tottenham, Emmanuel Adebayor is a player with Champions League experience who should lead the line well for Spurs and excel at this level.

Newcastle’s Senegalese due Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are two front men to keep an eye on as well.

With so much attacking talent on show and depending on how seriously teams are taking the tournament, plenty of players will be hopeful of being in contention for the Golden Boot.

About The Author

has written 63 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Thomas is a sports journalist residing in Norwich, UK and focusses on all things football here at tipsandpicks.com