Chelsea named Europa League favourites after Napoli lose to Arsenal

Chelsea named Europa League favourites after Napoli lose to Arsenal

Outright Europa League odds put Chelsea as short as 7/4 to win the tournament

As the Champions League returned for the quarter finals, as did the Europa League, where we saw two of England’s best sides pushing closer to the final in what now looks set to be a piece of silverware that either team could claim at the end of the season.

Prior to the Europa League quarter finals getting underway, it looked set to be a competition won by either Chelsea or Napoli, as bookies judged both sides as being equally as capable. Results from the latest Europa League fixtures tell another story, with Chelsea now in pole position to lift the trophy.

A late win over Slavia Prague worked in tandem with Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli

Played at the same time, Chelsea were always expected to defeat Slavia Prague, taking them on away from home in the first leg but at very least predicted to defeat the underwhelming side in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won the first leg 1-0 late on, Marcos Alonso netting in the eighty-sixth minute, and bookmakers see the performance as being a sign that they’ve already got a foot in the Europa League semi finals.

Bookmakers once judged Chelsea as 4/1 favourites, dropping down to 11/4 after further success in the competition and dominant displays over their opponents. As things stand, they’re now at odds as short as 13/8, William Hill offering the strongest price at odds of 7/4.

The whole concept of Chelsea winning anything this season is truly remarkable considering the start to life Maurizio Sarri has had as Chelsea manager. They pushed through to the Carabao Cup final but fell narrowly short in losing in a penalty shootout against Manchester City, but the Europa League would be an even bigger tournament to win, with it also confirming their place in the Champions League even if they fall short of fourth in the Premier League.

Gonzalo Higuain Chelsea

Gonzalo Higuain has been a disappointing loan signing for Chelsea, leaving Maurizio Sarri with no choice but to select other players to come on in his place against Slavia Prague.

Napoli move from second favourite to fifth favourite after away defeat

With lots of punters backing Napoli to win the Europa League, we were gearing up for an enticing Europa League final where Maurizio Sarri, Jorginho and Gonzalo Higuain have to face their former club. This was likely if Napoli could get past Arsenal, but the expected close encounter ended up being more dominant in Arsenal’s favour, resulting in a 2-0 win for the Gunners.

Not only was it the regularly attacking efforts of Napoli that put them down as a worthy candidate for Europa League glory, but also the pedigree of Carlo Ancelotti, who’s won the Champions League three times. His record also sees no wins in the Europa League, and it’s appearing to be a difficult task for Ancelotti, who has a big job on his hands as he now needs to beat Arsenal by more than two goals in the quarter final second leg at Stadio San Paolo.

Now priced as large as 12/1 on Sky Bet, Napoli are unlikely to carry this off successfully. Benfica are above them at odds of 8/1, Valencia with odds of 5/1, and Arsenal are a clear second favourite at odds of 3/1, where they stand a strong chance after Unai Emery has seen success in the competition over past years, winning the Europa League in three successive seasons with Sevilla.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea Napoli

Formerly Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri was helped by his former club, making Chelsea favourites to win the Europa.

william hill banner