UEFA Europa League Play Offs 2018/19 Preview

UEFA Europa League is the second main football competition in Europe. The best teams in Europe who did not get into the Champions League or who fell out of it move into the Europa League. They have the chance to take the trophy and next year without qualification get into the Champions League and fight with the winner of CL in the European Cup final. This annual football club competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations. Previously called the UEFA Cup, however, competition has changed a name to UEFA Europa League since the 2009 year.

In the tournament were left 32 of the great teams this season. Each match is decisive now, however, there is a chance to win back, even if the team was defeated in the first match. SmashingTip wants to analyze and provide information about who has more chances to win, how the teams got into the playoff and, of course, about the best players of the tournament.

 

Group Stage and Champions League Promotions

In the Europa League, some teams are not of the highest level, but sometimes it happens that they are deprived of the right to participate in the next round favorites. As a rule, weak teams have a strong team game. This is their strong point that even the strongest club cannot expect.

Group A – Bayer Leverkusen and Zurich won the Group, however, faced some troubles. AEK Larnaca and Ludogogorets left behind without any chances.

Group B – Salzburg won all matches and qualified to Playoffs. Celtic qualified from second place and surprisingly left behind RB Leipzig and outsider Rosenborg.

Group C – a very tough group, were luckier were Zenit Petersburg and Slavia Prague. Bordeaux and Copenhagen left behind.

Group D – D. Zagreb were unbeaten and won the group. Fenerbahce this season facing lots of troubles, however, was qualified to Playoffs and left behind Trnava and Anderlecht.

Group E – group with clear favorites. Arsenal and Sporting won the group and left behind with minimum points Vosrka Poltava and Qarabag.

Group F – Betis won the group without any losses. Second place took Olympiakos Piraeus and left behind surprisingly AC Milan at third place and outsider Dudelange with only 1 point.

Group G – newbie coach S. Gerrard could not bring the team to the playoffs and remain in third place. Villarreal and Rapid Vienna won the group with the same points. Spartak Moscow finished at last position.

Group H – Marseille surprisingly finished Europa League at the last position without any win. This team should prepare for next season very seriously and already brought to the club M. Balloteli. Eintracht Frankfurt and Lazio were promoted to the round of 16. Apollon took 3rd place and finished the competition.

Group I – group with almost similar level teams, however, Genk and Malmo FF were luckier. Unfortunately, Besiktas finished at 3rd position and Sarpsborg 08 at the last one.

Group J – the group with clear favorites, as Sevilla and Krasnodar were promoted to Playoffs. Both leaders have lost to St. Liege, however, this team left on 3rd place, but showed desire and potential to fight next year. Akhisarspor finished in the last position without any win.

Group K – Dynamo Kyiv finished first and promoted to Playoffs. Rennes even after very bad distance with 3 losses finished at the second position and joined Dynamo. Astana and Jablonec could not continue the fight.

Group L – Chelsea as a favorite of the tournament finished at the 1st place without any loss. BATE made a great comeback and finished at second place, leaving MOL Vidi and PAOK behind.

After leaving at the 3rd place in the Champions League group stage, this competition joined by – Club Brugge KV, Inter, Napoli, Galatasaray, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Plzen, and Valencia.

 

Featured Players

We can’t find very famous names at this list, however, these players are very potent and very often going to the strongest clubs after their best performances at Europa League. This is a great opportunity to prove yourself and show everything that you can even play for a weak team.

As the best striker in Europa League, we see Salzburg player M. Dabbur with 6 goals, 5 goals scored L. Jovic and players like Ben Yadder, E. Banega, O. Giroud, and P. Cutrone. At the top of the list, there are three Salzburg payers – Dabbur, Gulbrandsen, and Minamino. This is an indication that the team plays attacking football and provide an opportunity to prove themselves to not known players.

As the best assister, we see BATE player I. Stasevich with 6 assists. 4 key passes made M. Gacinovic and stay in the second place. 3 place was shared between K. Havertz, B. Fernandes, C. Immobile and many more.

 

Last years

As Real Madrid won three times in a row Champions League, similarly Sevilla left behind all clubs at Europa League. Each time the team got into the Champions League, however, remained in 3rd place in the group stage and then won the Europa League. The team showed a strong spirit, strong character, moreover, great abilities. That has happened a few years ago after that Manchester United won the Cup and last year Atl. Madrid returned as Spanish dominance.

 

SmashingTip

Of course, there are many good and strong teams in this competition. Each team is motivated in different ways and it has different goals, but even so, a victory in such a tournament always adds authority to the club.

In the Europa League, this year involved teams such as Napoli, Chelsea, Valencia, Lazio, Sevilla, Inter, and Arsenal. All of them have big potential and showing great abilities. Each of them deserves a place in the Champions League.

SmashingTip thinks that Napoli, Chelsea, and Sevilla have everything to win this tournament. These teams are well-equipped, they have well-known players who can play both individually and as a team game. One of these teams definitely should win and get the right to play next season in the Champions League, although compete for the strongest European team in the final of the Euro Cup. Follow us to find out more about the most interesting matches of the Europa League.