Europa League winner odds: Hammers 6/1 ahead of Lyon test
Europa League winner odds ahead of the quarter-finals
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Europa League was made on March 18 and the two remaining British clubs, West Ham and Rangers, were kept apart.
The Hammers needed extra time to squeeze past six-time champions Sevilla, while Gers’ 2-1 defeat at Crvena Zvezda made no difference as they went through 4-2 on aggregate.
David Moyes’ side are 6/1 in the Europa League winner odds, half what they were at the time of our last preview, so let’s look at their chances and the rest of the contenders for the tournament which resumes on April 7.
Barca dropped into the Europa League having finished third in a group also comprising Bayern Munich.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 21, 2022
Despite beating Napoli 5-3 on aggregate in the play-off round, they could only draw 0-0 against Galatasaray in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie and then fell behind to the Turkish giants in the return before goals from Pedri and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of half-time sealed a 2-1 win.
It is possible the Catalanas had other things on their minds because three days later they destroyed arch rivals Real Madrid 4-0 at the Bernabeu, so they deserve to be 6/4 favourites to win the tournament, with Eintracht Frankfurt awaiting in the last eight.
The Bundesliga side were given a free ride into the quarter-finals after scheduled opponents Spartak Moscow were thrown out of the competition as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
Leipzig, like Barcelona, dropped into the Europa League having finished third in the toughest Champions League group which saw Manchester City finish top and PSG runners-up.
Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in a 6-3 defeat at the Etihad and the Bundesliga side beat a strong City side in the final group game despite Pep Guardiola’s men having already qualified as winners, so they are a team to be feared.
Leipzig are fourth in the Bundesliga and 7/2 in the Europa League winner odds but face a tough test against Atalanta next.
Atalanta led in their first five Champions League group games but finished third with five points from their matches against Manchester United, Villarreal and Young Boys, winning just once.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side crushed Olympicacos 5-1 on aggregate in the play-off round and beat Bundesliga high-flyers Bayer Leverkusen home and away to reach this stage.
Trailing fourth-placed Juventus by eight points in Serie A, Atalanta will probably need to win this competition to qualify for next season’s Champions League and their odds have been cut from 9/1 to 11/2 since their win against Leverkusen.
With the Hammers’ top-four hopes taking a hit in a 3-1 defeat at London rivals Tottenham, Moyes may decide to concentrate his energy on winning the Europa League.
"To lose the third goal was a sickener."
The Boss' reaction to today's defeat:
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 20, 2022
Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko scored the winning goal in a 2-0 extra-time victory against Sevilla for a 2-1 aggregate win and their odds have been halved from 12/1 to 6/1.
West Ham next face Lyon, who have struggled in Ligue 1 this season, so the east Londoners will fancy their chances of progressing to the semi-finals where they could meet Barcelona.
Lyon are next in the betting at 11/1 having topped Rangers’ group with 16 points from a possible 18 followed by a 2-1 aggregate win against unbeaten Portuguese leaders Porto in the last 16.
Peter Bosz’s side have won just just one of their last five Ligue 1 games but they still have quality players in their ranks like former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele and Brazil defender Lucas Pacqueta, while Tanguy Ndombele has been making his presence felt in midfield since his loan move from Tottenham.
The Scottish champions are up against familiar opponents in the quarter-finals where they will meet Braga, the team they beat 4-2 in the round of 32 two seasons ago before they were torn to shreds by Bayer Leverkusen.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 20, 2022
The Light Blues caused the shock of the tournament by eliminating favourites Borussia Dortmund 6-4 on aggregate in the play-off round having finished second in their group, and a 3-0 win against Red Star Belgrade at Ibrox paved the way for their place in the last eight.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s men will not fear Braga having dispatched Dortmund and they have avoided Barcelona in the draw for the semi-finals, so Europa League winner odds of 16/1 should not be dismissed lightly.
The Germans came through the group phase unbeaten with a W3 D3 record, although they were expected to finish top against Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and Antwerp.
They then eliminated Real Betis in the round of 16 with an extra-time own goal, but have another Spanish team in the last eight, Barcelona, so it’s small wonder Frankfurt are 20/1 to win this tournament.
Rangers will have been happy to be paired with Braga, but the same can be said for the Portuguese who finished runner-up to Crvena Zvezda in the group phase and then beat Sheriff Tiraspol on penalties to reach the round of 16.
Abel Ruiz scored two of Braga’s three goals in a 3-1 aggregate victory over Monaco to seal a spot in the last eight, but they will have to raise their game another notch if they are to overcome Gers, something they failed to do in the 2019-20 campaign.
The Portuguese have little chance of finishing in the top three domestically and fourth spot looks on the cards again for a team that are priced at 28/1 to win the Europa League.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication