Sevilla FC are the most successful team in the Europa League. They have also achieved all of their success recently, winning their first title in 2006, then winning again in 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020. Despite being promoted to the Champions League, they failed to pass the group stage and then were relegated to the Europa League, where they could win consecutive titles. What is also quite amazing is that Sevilla has never lost a final, having played Middlesbrough FC, Espanyol, Benfica, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Liverpool and Inter Milan.
Sevilla is one of the contenders for a place in the top four in La Liga, and play frequently in both Champions League and Europa League competitions.
Villarreal won their first title in 2021, when they beat Manchester United in the finals. The team is currently managed by head coach Unai Emery, who is the most successful manager in the Europa League history. He managed Sevilla when they won the competition 3 times in a row, and when Villarreal won the competition in 2021, he added a fourth title to his list of accomplishments in the European competition.
Villarreal has had a shaky recent history, coming second in La Liga in 2008, their highest position in the league, followed by relegation four years later. They did not stay long in the La Liga 2, achieving promotion and then re-establishing themselves as a top six team. Villarreal usually manages to clinch a place in the Europa League, and in some years they have even managed to secure a place in the Champions League.
It was in Porto that Mourinho tasted his first victory as a manager. After joining in 2001, he managed to bring the Portuguese side to win the treble, including a UEFA Cup win, the clubs second European trophy in its history. They beat Scottish team Celtic in the UEFA Cup final in 2003. The following year, Porto went on to play in the Champions League, and Mourinho brought his team all the way to the finals of the Champions League and then beat Monaco 3-0 to win their second Champions League, and third European title.
In 2010, Porto hired Villas-Boas, Mourinho's former assistant. The unproven manager went all the way to win four trophies in his debut season, including the UEFA Cup. In an all Portuguese final against SC Braga, Porto won their second Europa League title.
Regional rivals to Villarreal, Valencia are another Spanish team that feature on this list. The team is one that used to play more in the Champions League, though Valencia have recently featured more in the Europa League. In La Liga, Valencia have won the league four times, most recently in 2002 and 2004, with manager Rafael Benitez. In 2004, they not only won the domestic league but they also won the Europa League, their first European trophy. The La Liga winners faced Marseille in the finals, who had come from the Champions League and were considered favourites. Valencia beat Marseille 2-0, with efforts from Spanish players Vicente and Mista.
The team then had fairly regular Champions League football until the mid-2010s, when their form became more turbulent. To date, Valencia are a formidable side when they play in the Europa League, but they can also go two or more years without playing any European football because of their performance in La Liga.
Real Sociedad have established themselves as yet another Spanish team who are dangerous in the European competitions. In the domestic league, Sociedad is usually on the edge of becoming a top six team, either falling in or just out of the top six. They garnered attention with the resigning of former player David Silva from Manchester City in 2019. The team puts in some great performances and their attacking players usually end quite high on the list of top goal scorers in La Liga. The team also has gone on to make some amazing winning streaks, leading the league table in the earlier stages of the league. Despite this, they usually tire out towards the end of the season and then finish in 5th, 6th or 7th position.
The potential of any Spanish club in the Europa League can never be downplayed, as four different Spanish sides have won the Europa League a total of 11 times in the past 20 years. All four sides, Valencia, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal had never won the competition prior. This can be a huge motivation for Sociedad, who have yet to make an impression in European football tournaments.
Napoli won the Europa League in 1989 with their star player Diego Maradona. Though the team plays in the Champions League more frequently than it does in the Europa League, competition is really high in the domestic league. Napoli usually finishes in the top four, though they have occasionally slipped to fifth, and then had to play in the Europa League. The Napoli team is a team that can definitely win the Europa League, and should they find themselves playing in the competition, they are a heavy favourite to achieve European glory.
The Italian side from the capital, Rome, have played in many Europa League competitions in recent years. Though they have never won any European trophies, Lazio has a fierce style of football, with quick direct passes that change the pace of play. The team fluctuates between being a top four team, a top six team and not making either. Despite this, Lazio has a strong team and usually play dynamic and charged football. Whenever they play in the Europa League, they are surely a team to watch out for.
Ten years ago, Leicester City were a mid-table league side, most likely a team that European football fans had barely heard of. When they won the Premier League in 2016, they suddenly garnered international attention. The win put them in the Champions League, where they fared well but were knocked out in the quarter finals to Atletico.
Since, Leicester have become an established Premier League side, frequently battling for a place in the top six.
Although they do not have any European trophies, Leicester City are a difficult side to face, managed by coach Brendan Rogers.
For a long time, Manchester United were a Champions League team, winning the competition three times in their extensive history. They were the first English side to win a European trophy, when they won the European Cup in 1968, in a final where legends George Best and Bobby Charlton both appeared on the scorecard. Manchester United won the European trophy, now called the Champions League, for a second time in 1999 in a tense final where they won by two goals scored in injury time. Their most recent win came in 2008, in an all English final against Chelsea.
After the retirement of long-time manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United fell out of grace, playing occasionally in the Champions League, but more frequently in the Europa League.
In 2017, United won the Europa League under head coach Jose Mourinho. They came close to winning their second Europa League trophy in 2021, but lost in a dramatic final to Spanish side Villarreal.
How to Bet on the Europa League Top Teams
When it comes to betting on Europa League matches, there are many exciting options to choose from. Betting odds for the winner of the tournament are given for each team, even before the competition starts. These outright bets can be placed at any time during the season.
There are also a number of bets that can breathe life into the smallest details of each game, with bets such as totals, game props and player props.
It is always important to consider how much you spend when you gamble. Should you find that you, or someone you know, has a problem, then there are organisations such as gambleaware.co.uk that can provide help when needed.