Europa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Entering Matchday 6 of the Europa League, there were 11 spots available in the knockout phase of the tournament. (I covered all the scenarios here and here for the groups that mattered). Most of the matches that mattered on Thursday went as expected, though there were a couple of surprises based on the tournament up … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Click here for Part 1 and a look at all the settled groups in Europa League. Click here for Part 2 and a look at the groups with one spot open. There are eight groups – and 23 clubs – that will actually have something to play for during Matchday 6. I’ve broken these eight … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Europa League – Matchday 5 Recap

We have completed five matches in the group stage of Europa League, and over half of the participants (13 of 24) for the knockout stage have secured their advancement: Bayer Leverkusen leads Group A with 10 points (goal differential of +3), ahead of… Z├╝rich because Zurich only has 9 points after losing yesterday ­čÖü Red … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 5 Recap

Europa League – Matchday 4 Recap

We have completed four matches in the group stage of Europa League, and unlike the Champions League, where only one club has punched their ticket to the next round, there are seven clubs in Europa that have clinched no worse than second in their respective groups:

  • Bayer Leverkusen leads Group A with 9 points (goal differential of +3), ahead of…
  • Z├╝rich because Bayer leads in away goals in head-to-head matchups
  • Dinamo Zagreb is undefeated in Group D and leads second place Fenerbah├že by five points
  • Arsenal leads Group E, and plays the two worst teams in the group over the last two matches
  • Eintracht Frankfurt leads Group H and is undefeated, including a victory over…
  • Lazio, who hopes to enter Matchday 6 with a chance at the group in their rematch against Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Chelsea, undefeated in Group L

These seven clubs have been assured of advancing into the next round of Europa League, where the eight third-place finishers in Champions League group stage will join the tournament. That group currently includes clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Paris Saint-Germain, and Valencia, which is why those three clubs are in the top ten in odds for winning Europa this season. Chelsea remains favored thus far, both for their dominating performance in Group L, but also for their play in the Premier League this season.

Nevertheless, some of the most exciting action in Europa League this week didn’t involve these seven clubs, so here’s a brief look at some of the results and why it caught our attention:

Celtic 2-1 RB Leipzig
Celtic may not have moved into second place in Group B due to this victory – they remain behind RB Leipzig due to head-to-head goal difference – but they kept themselves in the tournament for at least another match. They started the group stage as the second best club in the group behind Red Bull Salzburg, but found themselves buried in third place after a Matchday 3 loss to Leipzig. By winning Thursday, however, they ensure that they could be fighting for a spot in the next round should they repeat their performance against group weakling Rosenborg in a couple of weeks, setting up a final group stage matchday where the top three clubs could be playing to advance.

Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 4 Recap

Europa League – Matchday 2 Recap

The next 24 matches have been completed in the Europa League, and they mostly went as expected, with only five road clubs coming away with victories. But there were still some surprises, and this will highlight some of those results.

These are some of the results from the second day of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location) that piqued our interest. We’ll also be referencing clubs’ chances to win their group or advance, and I am using the great UEFA Europa League Predictions over at FiveThirtyEight for that (so I don’t have to keep linking it in multiple spots). Home teams are listed first:

Malmo FF 2-0 Besiktas
Sarpsborg 08 3-1 Genk
I wanted to highlight both matches from Group I because they made the group the only one with all four clubs tied with three points after two matches. It also continued the trend of the home teams winning, with all four matches played thus far in the group having won by the hosting club. Nominally, Sarpsborg is leading the group because they’ve scored the most goals (yet have the lowest odds of reaching the next round per FiveThirtyEight), and Malmo is in last place because they’ve scored the fewest, but Matchday 3 should hopefully allow for some separation. Note: Sarpsborg and Besiktas are the home clubs in three weeks, soplace your bets if you think the home team trend is going to continue.

Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 2 Recap