As well as the Champions League getting back underway after the Christmas and New Year period, the Europa League also restarts this week with the Round of 32 first legs taking place across Europe.  It is the start of a busy time for Europa League teams as over the next five weeks, the successful teams will face at least four games in that period as they play through the Round of 32 and then the Round of 16.

Of course, such a big choice of games means that there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy some outstanding sports betting and you can do that at Coral Sport this week, with a fantastic starter offer available for new customers if you are not already a member.

Let’s begin by taking a look at how we have gone from 12 groups of four teams, with 2 qualifiers from each group, to 32 teams vying for a place in the Last 16.

Europa League Round of 32 Qualifiers

In the opening Group Phase of the Europa League there are 12 groups each containing four teams and after each team has played the other teams in their group home and away, the top two teams in each group qualify for the Round of 32.

That is of course just 24 teams, but these teams are then joined by the eight teams from the Champions League who finished in third place in their group.

These teams are then placed into an unseeded draw prior to the Round of 32 being contested. This draw took place in Nyon before Christmas and produced the following matches, almost all of which will be played on Thursday 15th February and Thursday 22nd February:

Europa League Round of 32 Draw

  • Red Star Belgrade v CSKA Moscow (playing 13th Feb & 2nd Leg on the 20th Feb)
  • Astana v Sporting Lisbon
  • Ostersund v Arsenal
  • Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta
  • Real Sociedad v Red Bull Salzburg
  • Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao
  • Marseille v Braga
  • Nice v Lokomotive Moscow
  • Ludogorets v AC Milan
  • Napoli v Red Bull Leipzig
  • Lyon v Villarreal
  • Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg
  • Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen
  • FC Steaua Bucharest v Lazio
  • AEK Athens v Dynamo Kiev
  • FC Copenhagen v Atletico Madrid

Let’s now take a look at some of the most exciting betting available for the Europa League with Coral Sport.

Europa League Outright Winner Market – Odds with Coral Sport

  • Atletico Madrid – 7/2 favourites
  • Arsenal – 9/2
  • Napoli, Borussia Dortmund – 10/1
  • AC Milan, Lazio, Red Bull Leipzig – 16/1
  • Lyon, Zenit St Petersburg – 20/1
  • Villarreal, Marseille, Sporting Lisbon – 25/1
  • Athletic Bilbao, Atalanta – 33/1
  • Dynamo Kiev – 40/1
  • Nice, Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow – 50/1
  • Lokomotive Moscow, Celtic – 66/1
  • Red Bull Salzburg – 80/1
  • Braga, AEK Athens – 100/1
  • Steaua Bucharest, Ludogorets – 150/1
  • Ostersund – 200/1
  • Viktoria Plzen, Astana, FC Copenhagen, Partizan Belgrade, Red Star Belgrade – 250/1

It is hard to look outside the top selections for the overall winners of the Europa League and of them all, Atletico Madrid do deserve to be the favourites and they would be my choice of team to back given their strength, form and European pedigree. However, one team to watch is Marseille who have a favourable draw and who are in superb form domestically and are perhaps worth an outside Each Way punt at 25/1.

Europa League Accumulators

One of the most popular sports bets is the Football Accumulator and with Coral offering a 4+ Acca Boost on successful qualifying accumulators of four or more selections, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that offer. Outlined below are the selections I have put together from Thursday’s selection of Europa League games.

  • Astana v Sporting Lisbon – Draw (21/10)
  • Nice v Lokomotive Moscow – Draw (11/5)
  • Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta – Home Win (3/4)
  • Napoli v Red Bull Leipzig – Home Win (Evens)
  • Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg – Away Win (13/8)

A fivefold accumulator using these selections would return £911.40 for a £10 stake. In addition, as the bet qualifies for Coral’s 4+ Acca Boost promotion, then you would also receive a free bet to the value of £50 should your bet be a winner.

If you prefer a shorter odds accumulator option which has a greater chance of success then I feel the following four selections are worth a flutter:

  • Ostersunds v Arsenal – Away Win (4/9)
  • Real Sociedad v Red Bull Salzburg – Home Win (4/5)
  • Lyon v Villarreal – Home Win (10/11)
  • FC Copenhagen v Atletico Madrid – Away Win (8/15)

This is a much shorter priced bet and a £10 stake would return £76.10, plus you would get a free bet worth £7.61 as part of Coral 4+ Acca Boost promotion too.

Europa League – How will the Brits perform?

Out of the 32 teams remaining in the competition there are just two British teams left battling for victory. With Everton eliminated in the Group Stages, only Arsenal and Celtic (who dropped into this competition after finishing third in their Champions League group) are left to fly the flag for the home nations.

How will each perform? Let’s take a quick look of their opponents in the Round of 32.

Ostersund v Arsenal

Ostersund are an emerging team from the Swedish League. Formed only in 1996, they were playing in the fourth tier of Swedish football as recently as 2011. An impressive rise to the top division, masterminded by their English manager Graham Potter, complete with qualification for European competition has seen Ostersund become the Winter City of Swedish football, as it is located so far north.

This will provide tricky colder conditions for Arsenal to mastermind, but in terms of quality the Gunners have more than enough talent to get the job done. With Arsenal’s Premier League situation now looking precarious, their best hope of Champions League football next season may be by winning the Europa League as Manchester United did last year.

The first leg may be tricky for the Gunners but I think they’ll come through over the two legs with relative comfort.

Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg

The football gods weren’t too kind to Celtic as their name was drawn out the hat against Zenit St Petersburg, a team with plenty of experience in European football, lying second in the Russian Premier League and who have a team packed with some big names under the guidance of ex-Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

If Celtic are to stand a chance of progressing then a win on home turf is a must but unfortunately the gulf in class between Celtic and many top European sides is a big one as they proved in the Champions League this season when shipping 12 goals in total home and away against Paris St Germain.

Zenit are nowhere near as strong as PSG but they are still a formidable team and it is a very harsh place to go to get a result in the second leg. If Celtic can take a two-goal lead into the second leg, they’ll have a great chance, otherwise I think Zenit will qualify relatively comfortably.