The Europa Conference League is new, and it is here. In 2019, UEFA announced that a new competition would begin this season and rank as the third-best behind the Champions League and the Europa League.
The aim, they said, was to allow for inclusivity- more teams from smaller member nations of the continent. Teams that also finished third in the group stages of the Europa League would now be relegated to a play-off with the second-placed teams in the Conference League.
Indeed, with four game weeks played, the competition has been nothing short of excitement and drama. The likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Roma have found it difficult to ease past teams in the group.
The Conference League has also produced goals aplenty. Hence, it is fast becoming one of the most lucrative markets for punters to cash out.
Here are four teams in this season’s competition and their prospects of delivering over 1.5 returns for punters.
Roma began the season like a house on fire, especially with the appointment of one of the most successful managers in the world, Jose Mourinho.
However, in recent weeks, Mourinho’s men have won just one of their last five matches in Serie A.
In the Europa Conference League, the Giallorosi having won their first two matches, have failed to win either of their last two. They lost scandalously 6-1 to a largely unknown Norwegian team called Bodo/Glimt.
Indeed, there have been concerns over the future of the Portuguese manager in the past few weeks.
The Italian side remains second in the group behind Bodo/Glimt with just a point and with two matches left in the group stages, it would look to seize the first place.
Roma has struggled to keep it solid in defence. They have scored 11 goals but conceded nine in return. Tammy Abraham and Lorenzo Pellegrini have been brilliant in offence, yet the defence has continuously let them down. There is also the issue of strength in depth which the manager has complained about at times.
Roma has recorded more than two goals in every game in the Europa Conference League. Hence, it is a safe option for punters to back them throughout the season.
The competition in the Europa Conference League, in reality, is not as intense as the first two divisions, at least, at this stage.
This allows clubs like Maccabi Tel-Aviv to get some domination. They, alongside LASK, have been a class higher than the other teams in Group A.
While the Israeli club sits 9th in the league, it has managed three wins from four matches on the continent, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two.
The fight to top the group will be between them and the Austrian side. They have also recorded four over 1.5 goal margins in the Europa Conference League.
This option is a must-have for every punter interested in getting brilliant rewards in the competition.
Basel is one of the more successful Switzerland sides. They have had stints in the Champions League in the past, especially with players like Mohamed Salah.
However, they face a tough task to qualify as the top of Group H with Qarabag holding its own tenaciously.
Bebbi as they are fondly called currently lead the table in the Swiss League and will hope to translate their performance in this competition.
They have scored eight goals and conceded four so far. Every match in the Conference League has produced at least two goals, bar the draw against Qarabag.
This looks like a tricky option when you consider Tottenham’s ordeal in the Premier League. However, the Spurs have been largely decent in the Europa Conference League.
Their horrible performance in recent weeks has seen the London club part ways with manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Yet, they have now hired a serial winner in Antonio Conte.
Harry Kane has also been a shadow of his excellent self since his transfer debacle in the summer. Although, he has managed three goals in this competition.
Conte’s men are in a particularly tough group, alongside Ligue 1 side, Rennes and Vitesse from the Netherlands. They sit second behind Rennes with seven points.
The former Champions League finalists have their work cut out in the remaining two matches. Yet, it is impossible to bet against a team now managed by the Italian.
Heung-Min Son will also look to influence things a bit more while trying to combine with Kane.
The English team has recorded 3 over 1.5 margins in the Europa Conference League so far, intelligent punters will do well to back them this season.