After two weeks of non-stop action, the Europa League is taking a break this week before resuming action in two weeks. We are down to the final 16 clubs, representing 11 UEFA associations, and are about three months from the Europa League final, which will be played at Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29 May.
Before the Round of 32 began, we wrote about some of the odds associated with the clubs still in the tournament, so before we talk about the Round of 16 draw directly, I wanted to take a look back at that and how the clubs fared in the matchups over the past two weeks.
Departed Round of 32 Favorites
Before play began in the Round of 32, we identified the 16 favorites according to FiveThirtyEight. Of those 16 favorites, 10 clubs advanced to the Round of 16. The biggest favorite to lose during the round was Belgium club Genk, who lost on aggregate to Slavia Prague, despite being favored 3-to-1 in the matchup. They lost 4-1 on aggregate to the Czech club, with all the scoring happening in Leg 2… in Genk. Oops. The upset didn’t help increase Slavia Prague’s odds going forward (which we’ll get to in a minute), but I’m sure they and their supporters are happy for at least two more matches in European competition this season.