Predictions & Showdowns 2017/18: Who Will Lift The Europa League?

Welcome to the round of 32, it happens every year; the thrill, the roars, the constant bickering and the one too many beers. English pubs are suddenly the place to be.  We look around to see if we can recognise a familiar face amongst the crowd of people, but they’re merely human. It’s more like an anti-social bunch staring desperately down at their smartphones tapping away fiercely.

At this point, we start believing that nomophobia is really a thing. Until it actually dawns on us that this is all in the name of football, because what kind of Europa League would it be if we don’t dive into it, heart and soul?

Shout out to all Arsenal fans who might celebrate Arsenal’s triumphs until the very end. Following the team’s last participation in the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup, Arsenal is back playing in this tournament. They booked their place in the next round of the Europa league on matchday five. Indeed, the next couple of weeks look pretty bright from where bookies are standing with the odds being in the Gunner’s favour.

There’s Talent in Nailing the Winner!

But let’s face it, the Europa league is not only about cheering the team you support, it’s also an opportunity whereby football fans can make an extra buck, or if luck spins their way, they can downgrade to a part-time job, because who needs a full-time position after hitting the jackpot?

Let’s get things straight though, for the sake of ensuring that there won’t be a drastic fall in the employment rate. Football betting is not about randomly picking a winner just because your instinct tells you to do so or that sort of b*ll, it’s more about the hunt for the best value in bets.

But, you better have some sort of strategy, otherwise, you will probably fall victim to the big bookies. Bookmakers use odds to represent the probability of an outcome happening within a game, and it is the very act of understanding (or challenging) these predictions that will determine the chances of a big pay-out.

Let’s also take into account other on-going leagues, such as the Premier League. There is no doubt that Arsenal’s recent performance against Manchester United was a far cry for help. The team exposed their weaknesses for all the football world to see, resulting in a 1-3 score in favour of Manchester United.

The mistakes the team did undeniably led the way towards their own defeat. Indeed, Arsenal manager Wenger stated that they cannot afford to make the mistakes they made at the beginning of the match.

Cutting Down to the Chase

But the question which must be on everyone’s lips is – “Who will win the 2017/18 Europa league”?  Pride, loyalty and money all come into play during such an important tournament. Fans and punters alike have a lot to lose or gain, so many maybe’s, but’s and what if’s. The degree of uncertainty during a match is endless. Having said this, the bookmakers have already marked Arsenal as second favourites to win the 2017/18 Europa League.

But let’s be frank, luck may have played a small role in Arsenal’s progress so far, indeed they have managed to avoid some big teams up until now. And this draw also left the Gunners with a (hopefully easy) draw against Swedish minnows Östersund, but things might just get tougher for Arsenal from this point on, as the Gunners will come up against some big teams from the pool of Champions League drop-outs.

Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Napoli all pose a massive threat to the Gunners. Dortmund would be an even fiercer opponent with injured stars returning. Same goes for Atletico especially if their new signing Diego Costa is called in to play in the tournament. And last but not least, Napoli; they are passionate and fierce, so much so that they have only lost 2 games out of 13 matches this season.

Regrouping

Although the Gunners suffered a surprising defeat to FC Koln in the Europa League, the team still managed to secure its place at the top of the list after a goalless draw with BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade. And yes, whilst we’ve had a couple of goalless draws the average amount of goals per match is at 2.65 in the EL, so the Gunners will probably have a few goals to catch up on, and with Östersund being the next matchup we will have what seems to be a pretty interesting road ahead.

And with Sanellhi onboard, we might secure some proper transfers this coming window that can help us take it further in the knock-outs and lift the trophy.

Supporting the Gunners always has you in for a hell of a ride or uttering complete blasphemy (more times than not). This year the team has already come a tad closer to winning their first European trophy, but the truth is, they need to step up their game.

The grass is not always greener on the other side and I guess this is especially true for the upcoming challenges Arsenal will face throughout the next coming rounds.

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