Welcome to the 2019-20 Champions League
Would you like to win 19 million euros? Well, you'd better be a Champions League-winning team, then, because that's how much the winners will get this year. With prize money distribution being closely tied to the value of each participating country's TV market share, clubs can make nearly 100 million euros at the most - a frankly ludicrous sum, and perhaps a little more than we're hoping to help you win by betting on the tournament.
We all know the results of last year: Liverpool brought their first title home since 2005, and now the final is back in Istanbul, at the very same stadium as then.
Yet there are many really interesting angles here. How about these?
- Klopp, Guardiola, Zidane, and Mourinho are all still in the tournament.
- Zizou is yet to lose a Champions League tournament, and could win his fourth as a manager.
- Only teams from the top five leagues have made the round of 16.
- Haaland and Lewandowski are scoring for fun - can they keep it up?
If, like Haaland, you drive around town blasting the Champions League anthem, then mid February is probably a second Christmas to you. And if you're not doing that - well, it's about bloody time you start!
In this guide, we will walk you through all Champions League match-ups. We will provide odds favourites, outrights and head-to-head stats, links to more info, sportsbooks recommendations, and a little Europa League preview action sprinkled on top while we're at it. Fixtures, playing schedule, history - you name it, we've got it, right up to the May 30 final!
So far, we've gone through three qualifying rounds - not counting the preliminaries - and a playoff round, then the group stage consisting of 32 teams in total. 16 of those are through to the aptly named round of 16, and 8 have been relegated to the Europa League. The remaining 8 are done internationally for the remainder of the season.
(In this guide, I will mostly try to use English international names consistently. My apologies to Bayern
München Munich fans - es tut mir leid.)
When and where is the 2020 Champions League final?
The final of the 2020 Champions League will be played on May 30. It'll be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, for the second time. The Europa League final is played three days earlier, on May 27, in the Polish city of Gdańsk.
How can I find the best Champions League odds?
Where can I watch the 2019-20 Champions League?
BT Sport are broadcasting in the UK. In the US, you can watch on Univision and TNT, with additional paid streaming on B/R Live. Irish viewers tune into RTÉ, Virgin Media, or BT Sport. And finally, Canadians only have the option of DAZN.
Who are the favourites to win the Champions League?
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are slight favourites to win over Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool. Following closely behind are Barcelona, PSG, Bayern München and Juventus. On the other end of the spectrum, bookmakers have absolutely no faith in the chances of Lyon, Valencia, and Napoli.
Champions League at a glance
Champions League Odds Favourites
It's anybody's game in the Champions League still, with sixteen teams remaining and a fair number of those with perfectly reasonable chances. The usual suspects occupy prime odds spots, though, and it's Guardiola vs Klopp at the very top. Now, where have we heard that before?...
Still, as Tottenham showed us last year, any team can finish second, and here we have odds on each team to win or to get to the final in Istanbul.
How to bet on the Champions League? Well, all you really need is an account with a well-renowned bookmaker. Here at ThePlayer.com, we do the work for you and write extensive reviews of trustworthy sportsbooks and betting sites that have been established for a long time or are well known for being serious. Lists are available specifically for the UK, and even for American punters.
We also offer betting tips and football predictions writting by expert tipsters, obviously all kinds of football odds, huge amounts of football statistics, and much more. But moving on, here are the Champions League winners outrights odds.
|Team||Odds to win||Odds to reach final||Odds to reach semis|
Additional Champions League betting
Of course, there are a number of other fun bets as well. For instance...
- Think the English suck and they'll have zero teams in the final? Well, your odds are +550...
- Just five countries are left in the tournament, but if you think the winner is Italian, you get really nice odds of +1000.
- You can get 17x your money back if you back Chelsea to be the best Premier League team in the competition, at +1600 odds.
- Lyon will yield a whooping +1400 odds to make the semifinals - that's just for surviving two rounds!
All of these bets and more are available at bet365 right now!
Champions League TV & Streaming Guide
Every year, it's the same question: how to watch the Champions League?
It's a valid question. Broadcasting rights seem to change by the hour, sometimes, especially now that TV isn't limited to traditional providers. For instance, did you know that Facebook is the official free Champions League streaming service in Brazil?
Alas, though, most of us will be paying through our noses for the privilege of watching our favourite team. Whether you curse at your TV or kiss your iPad, you can count on it costing a hefty sum. Of course, if you're any good at Champions League betting, this won't be a problem.
Here is a list of broadcasters for various relevant countries. Please note that "free" does not necessarily mean that all matches are free, but that select ones are. Streaming availability is usually better than TV options, but again, there's no guarantee as content may vary from country to country.
|United Kingdom||-||BT Sport|
|Ireland||RTÉ, Virgin||Virgin, BT Sport|
|Germany||-||Sky, DAZN, Telekom Sport|
|Latin America||ESPN, Fox|
TV & Streaming
Round of 16 - All Matchups
Only teams from the top five leagues made it so the round of 16, and there is a discussion to be had about that, but not here. I'd rather get right into the action - and there are eight matchups to go through, plus a truckload of Europa League for kicks and bonus, so let's go ahead. Starting with...
Matchup #1: Borussia Dortmund (GER) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
I am so glad that the winter transfer window is finally over, so we won't have to listen to "news" about Mbappé and Neymar wanting to leave the club. This is, after all, a club that thought it didn't have enough internal turmoil and so decided to sign Mauro Icardi.
Anyway, PSG are of course favourites to win the battle against Dortmund at -303 to +225. Part of the reason is that they have a better squad, and part is that Dortmund's current strategy is to win every match 5-4, which isn't likely to work against the Parisians.
It's not like the Germans' offense got any worse after they signed Haaland, though. He's played in four Bundesliga games so far, and you'd be forgiven for already losing track of how many times he's scored. Weirdly, though, Lucien Favre is no stranger to organising a coherent defensive - after all, that's how he revived Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Nice was the same story until he had to make changes in his second season. The over/under Asian line is absolutely ridiculous at 3.25, and I can't help but feel that Dortmund will be taking that as a challenge.
Tuchel will inevitably be judged on his Champions League success, given that PSG are expected to win the Ligue 1 every year. It's hard to say how long he'll be able to stand it, though. PSG's greatest enemy is their own internal conflict, apparently - and also a lack of decent opponents. How will you beat the best if you don't regularly play the best? I would imagine that their Qatari owners quite happily would sign up for a European Super League tomorrow if you let them.
In order to win this game, Dortmund will have to learn to defend a bit. Is Hummels past his prime? Possibly, yeah. They should really hope for Neymar to be injured, as he often is, although I suspect he'll play if half-damaged. But even without him, they have Icardi on top and the evergreen Di María right behind. And Mbappé, of course. Tuchel is fairly consistent in his playing style, and mostly in his team selection as well. The big question is whether he wants to go with 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 (and double sixes) as he's done lately in the ligue. The benefit of getting Neymar and Mbappé into their respective best positions is obvious, but then again - if you can just keep a bit tight against Dortmund, they'll likely just let you parade a few goals into net on their own right now.
Matchup #2: Real Madrid (ESP) vs Manchester City (ENG)
It's quite telling how this battle apparently has absolutely nothing to do with the players contesting it. No, this is Zidane vs Guardiola, or the battle of the bald frauds according to Reddit. The Spaniard - I mean Catalonian, sorry Pep - has claimed repeatedly that he might get sacked if he doesn't win the CL this year, and though most commenters find the prospect of firing Guardiola utterly moronic, there is some truth to the fact that he needs a big victory to save his season.
And in fact, City are favourites to through, at -189 against Real's +137. They're also the favourites to win the whole shebang, which would probably be the first time a Champions League champion get trashed by Norwich.
Now, while City's problems aren't quite the same as Dortmund's above, they do have a serious issue in defense. Kompany quit in order to learn the hard way that coaching is difficult, and even though he lost speed with age, that's still a huge drop in experience and pitch confidence, two things players like John Stones are sorely missing. We all saw that coming, though - he's 33, after all, and a bit past his prime - but then Laporte injured his knee just as the season started, and City's been scrambling to replace him ever since.
The thing about Laporte is that not only is he a great passing player from the back; he does almost everything a defender needs to do better than every other City defender - perhaps with the exception of Fernandinho. Of course, Fernandinho isn't a centre back - he's a defensive midfielder. But Guardiola needed somebody to step up and take charge, and he's the best option. The major problem with this is that you now don't have Fernandinho to pick up the defensive midfield. So it's really a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.
You'll notice that I haven't even touched on offense yet, and, well - it's not like City have much of a problem there. They could be more clinical, and Sterling isn't as brilliant as he was in the first few months of autumn, but I should think that merely variance in combination with the drop in sharp focus experienced by realising they've lost the league.
Real Madrid, then. They have, to put it bluntly, been about as good at defense as City haven't. 14 goals conceded in 23 matches in LaLiga is borderline absurd - it's even less than their local rivals Atlético have, but Real have scored 21 more. At the beginning of the season, Courtois appeared to be way out of his depth; he made silly mistakes and was getting laughed at. Since then, he's been absolutely phenomenal, and so has the backline with Ramos, Mendy, Carvajal, and Varane.
And if that wasn't enough, Casemiro in DM is one of the best players in Spain this year. Frankly, I think Real Madrid have gone from doubtful in August to a potential powerhouse where they are now. I certainly didn't see that coming when they lost 3-0 to PSG and followed that up with 2-2 at home against Club Brugge.
Yet Benzema is now still a world-class striker and somehow goes under the radar despite being a top name for Real Madrid. He's been there for ten years, won absolutely everything, and doesn't get full recognition for it. It used to be said that Cristiano Ronaldo was the reason he won titles. Well, that is likely to be remedied soon. If a single player won his clubs titles as often as this is suggested, Juventus would have had a CL trophy again already, and Barcelona would certainly be in possession of a few more as well.
Zidane even managed to get Bale playing something other than golf. Surely that has to be worth more than +137?
Matchup #3: Atalanta (ITA) vs Valencia (ESP)
It's the battle of the two teams who are secretly happy they drew each other. They're about evenly matched - Atalanta are slight favourites to go through, at -125 to Valencia's [oddss=1.95]. And they've also started gaining some traction again in the league, so let's start there.
A long, long time ago, in 2018 more specifically, Atalanta were fairly happy to finish 7th. They'd done better the year before, sure, but they were still going to a major European competition, and they were still punching above their weight. Then, they finished on top of Inter, Milan, and Roma. The man behind this is, of course, Gian Piero Gasperini. He's one of those managers who can put a team together, from which individual departing players may leave only to be worse elsewhere.
That's a bit bleak, but it's how the narrative goes, and it's not far from the truth. Gasperini has assembled a very small squad, and I use "squad" in the loosest possible sense of the word. It's more of a starting eleven plus a few more, so a starting thirteen point five, if you will. Their specialty is attack-focused, and they can tear apart just about anyone. Unfortunately, that leaves them utterly vulnerable to counterattacks, which is why you'll find them draw away to Inter one week and lose at home to SPAL the next.
Having so few important players puts all the more pressure on them to perform. Atalanta need their dynamic duo of Zapata and Iličić to score consistently, and Papu Gómez right behind them is key to running the offense as a well-oiled machinery as opposed to fractions of brilliance. And again, these key players are all offensive ones. If Valencia can push on the breakthrough, Atalanta will be in trouble.
Then again, Valencia since Peter Lim took over have been absolutely erratic for the most part. I'll gladly confess that I still don't really know what they want to be, and Lim sure as hell has less clue than I do. Right now, his team are seventh in LaLiga, but it's a really tight race for next year's Champions League spots, and they're just two points shy of fourth.
If they do grab that CL spot, they should be really happy about it, because while they did beat Barcelona, they haven't been playing as well as they should have. I'll cut Celades some slack here, because he's new to it, and new to the club, but the certainly possess player material that ought to be better molded, right now. Part of the problem, I think, is that 4-4-2 isn't working for Valencia. Now, obviously it isn't 4-4-2 in the way that, say, Sean Dyche would play it - but there's something wrong: they've only scored more than two goals in one game three times this season.
Now, unlike Gary Neville, I won't claim that I can solve that problem, but I firmly believe that Valencia could do a lot more if they actually played to control the ball more. I don't mean that purely as in maintaining more possession, but as in actually building something up while they have position. That fits the quality of the players they have, and it's something that would let them come to more kinds sof finishes. They certainly don't lack finishing power, but they do have a problem getting there.
In a sense, this is a matchup of "can team A do this?" and "can team B do that?" And the outcome is really unclear.
Matchup #4: Atlético Madrid (ESP) vs Liverpool (ENG)
So, eh... Liverpool's pretty good this year, huh?
Any other year, Atlético would have been one of the worst possible draws for the Reds. They sit back and play tough like annoying Spanish/Uruguayan terriers, then get you on the counter for a couple. A few yellow cards don't matter. But they're having huge problems scoring this year, and while they do concede few, they are a bit more shaky at the back. Combine that with Liverpool's newfound ability to adapt to tight defenses, and it's easy to see why the reigning champions are favourites at -357 against Atlético's +250.
Squad depth is another issue. Liverpool have backups in just about any position, even if a key player or two is missing. Others such as Henderson really stepping it up this year gives a variety in creativity that means a substitution can change the game without losing focus in it. If Gomez is injured, Matip or Lovren keeps things tight next to van Dijk. And despite having a world-class frontal assault, they're still being linked with every single young, speedy forward in Europe at the moment.
So the question is: how can Diego Simeone take on all this? And the simple answer is that if this was obvious, the odds wouldn't be so skewed in English favour. With (primarily) Griezmann gone, the Madrid side no longer has any good way of opening defenses up. Hell, they can't even open up the worst teams in LaLiga - instead resorting to dropping long balls behind. That is, put mildly, not going to be very efficient against the Klopp machine.
Most likely, we'll see Simeone play 4-4-2 with a steady line of defense, which Liverpool will need to tear down using speed and technical brilliance. Luckily for them, they've got both in abundance. It's not likely to be a very exciting double meeting.
Matchup #5: Chelsea (ENG) vs Bayern Munich (GER)
We should all give credit to Frank Lampard, who has had his team perform way above expectations. He's also displaying a very clear vision of how he wants to play, while pushing a young team that play together in their formative years. This could be an extremely exciting side in a few years.
However, they're up against the big dogs now, and Bayern Munich are -455 favourites over Chelsea at [4.00], which honestly seems fair, despite the German giants having a bit of a dud season.
Now, both of these clubs have had problems so far. Chelsea bought the most expensive keeper in the world and kind of want to replace him already. Lampard haven't figured out how to utilise Kanté at what he does best, although he did give Jorginho a role that has him looking like the force he was in Napoli. Kurt Zouma epitomises the issue: he's actually playing well again, but he's still doing Kurt Zouma mistakes.
In fact, the whole team seems to be having problems focusing for a full 90 minutes, or for several games in a row. This is something that may be remedied with experience, but then again the most experienced players aren't doing anything against the thesis either.
Bayern, meanwhile, have been doing what they do best: purchase the competition's players, appoint former players as staff, make long-term plans and win the Bundesliga. No, wait - they're actually in a pretty tight Bundesliga race, but still, they are leading it. And they did sweep their CL group 6-0-0.
Quite a few things have happened during that time. Niko Kovač left the club by mutual agreement in November, and Hansi Flick took over interim. They didn't hate Kovač by any means, but they do appear to really love Flick, and enthusiasm can work wonders. Now he's on contract for the rest of the season. (Manchester United have a thing or two to learn here.) The single most impactful change in the team has probably been Thomas Müller's transition to a complete player rather than a prolific goalscorer. He's better now, he spreads the ball better, and he's displaying leadership qualities daily. Alphonso Davis is a welcome addition to the left-back position. And of course, a certain Pole scores at will.
Mostly, Bayern have settled into a system that works. Flick plays an attacking 4-3-3 in which Davies and Pavard can move up the pitch if they want to, but it's mostly an attack system which separates two parts of the team from each other. This leaves Alaba free to do one thing, unlike most of his careers where he's been bounced around frequently. Kimmich Thiago and Goretzka have roles they like, and the only question is basically which ones of 3-4 players to rotate in certain spots.
That's a luxury problem Lampard hopes to have in a few years. But he's not there yet. And Bayern possibly are.
Matchup #6: Lyon (FRA) vs Juventus (ITA)
I really feel sorry for Lyon. They're ninth in the league, and it doesn't even seem unfair. Their best player this season, Memphis Depay, tore his scruciate ligament in a game against Rennes... and so did Jeff Reine-Adélaïde while they were at it. They do have other good players, but they don't have a team at the moment. And now they're facing Juventus.
Juve are the biggest favourites of the round of 16, they lead the odds -909 against +550, and that almost seems generous. They're "struggling" in the league, which means it's an unexpected three-horse race, but they're still at 54 points in 23 matches and leading, albeit on goal difference. Having danced their way through the group stage, they've drawn arguably the weakest side remaining.
Lyon, meanwhile, had a much tougher time in the groups. They needed to overcome a 0-2 deficit against Leipzig, and still required Benfica's help against Zenit. It's not exactly a miracle that they made it, but it is a bit remarkable, and it goes to show just how tight that group was. Of course, they had Depay then to score the equaliser, and he's out. Aouar was responsible for the first goal - and he's currently arguably the most important player in the squad, together with Moussa Dembélé. If Juventus stop that duo, I dare say the rest is going to be a cakewalk. They can even afford to rest their half-injured players, of which they have a few.
Matchup #7: Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) vs RB Leipzig (GER)
Man, Spurs are having the weirdest season. I don't think a full recap is necessary, but Kane's out and Mourinho's in charge. Results are inconsistent to say the least, and so is Mou's strategic arsenal - but that's to be expected. He's still possibly the best manager ever at completely adapting to the opposing team, even if it sometimes comes at the expense of his own team's.
Now, they're underdogs for sure, at +105 against Leipzig's -143 - cheers, Son's crying - but that's still pretty close, and it's easy to list reasons for why that's reasonable:
- Leipzig are mostly untested at this stage.
- Nobody knows what the hell Mourinho's up to.
- How well can Spurs adapt without one of the best forwards in the world?
- The Germans have had a problem opening up tight defenses in the past, and Mourinho has no qualms being a park-the-bus manager when he wants to.
The latest rumours are putting Leipzig's Timo Werner at Liverpool. We'll see about that later, but for now, he remains the quick, versatile centre-forward who excels when he can command his own role but suffers if the team (the national team, that is) isn't built around that. Lucky for him, then, that Leipzig play in a way that can make anyone forget that Werner is just 23. Lately, Nagelsmann has been trying to move him around a bit, mostly to accomodate for other structural issues in the squad. It hasn't quite worked out as well as he'd hoped, and I expect to see Werner back in his usual spot by Schick in a 4-4-2 - either diamond or with double sixes. It depends a lot on what they hope to achieve against the opposition. The double sixes formation seems better suited to Spurs at the moment, assuming they will go for the tight defense. If Nagelsmann wants to bring us a surprise, he'll play Forsberg at the front of the diamont and hope to rush through the now post-thirty Belgians.
Matchup #8: Napoli (ITA) vs Barcelona (ESP)
And finally, we get to the game between two underachievers. Napoli first and foremost, because, well... what on Earth are they doing?!
They're in eleventh place, 24 points off the top. Ancelotti was brought in to replace Sarri, who is now hated by the fanbase for moving on to Juventus despite actually being from Naples. Meanwhile, Carlo himself was apparently hated by player fractions, and it reached a point where they didn't want to play for him or club management, so he was replaced and went on to rejuvenate Everton in a very clear case of "it's not you, it's us".
So now poor Gennaro Gattuso gets his second big team and his second task of getting various idiots to work together. He does have the backbone for it, and he's not failing for lack of trying, but it's really starting to look like a Sisyphean mission. Just last weekend at the time of this writing, they managed to lose 2-3 at home against Lecce - despite beating Juventus two rounds back. Consistency, thy name is anything but moody Italians.
Clearly, though, they have what it takes after managing victories against not just Juventus but also Liverpool. So can they beat Barcelona?
The short answer is probably yes, although Barça is rightfully large favourites at -500 over +333 - subject to change quickly if the market starts getting worried. And perhaps they're not worried enough. Barcelona is increasingly looking like a club with no vision, a team with no cohesion, and above all a Messi with the world's greatest footballing ability but who cannot possibly carry them alone match after match.
I know I'm being harsh here. It's not like Barça would finish thirteenth if Messi spent a season injured. But they do seem to handle a lot of things woefully inadequately if not incompetently, and obviously that affects things at the pitch as well. Just the other week, Messi went to Instagram to respond to director of football (and former Barcelona player) Eric Abidal, after he criticised unnamed players publically. That clearly shouldn't happen at any club, and if Abidal isn't aware of that, he has no business being where he is. That does seem to be the general trend for management at the moment, though.
Barcelona are 15-4-4 in the league, three points behind Real Madrid mostly due to their rivals having spent a lot of time drawing games unnecessarily earlier this season. At the current rate, they're not looking like title contenders. I do like the recent appointment of Setién, but I don't think the poor man realised what a situation he was in for. At least he can always count on not being Valverde. And Napoli is a reasonably suitable stepping stone on the way for him to get some actual results.
Round of 16 matchups
Full CL & EL Playing Schedule
If there's one thing you can count on, it's the UEFA major tournament schedule. While I have to admit that I did miss a few match starts when they changed the playing time recently, all dates and times for the rest of the tournament is already known.
In fact, it's dead simple: matches start at 8 pm sharp - that's 20:00 GMT - on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For most Europeans, that means 21:00 CET. And for our American friends, that's 15:00 ET or 12:00 PT.
The Champions League final is officially played in TRT. Never heard of that? You'd be easily excused: it's the official timezone of Turkey, and it'll be three hours ahead of Greenwich on May 30.
Just to keep things
annoyingly confusing interesting, there are - of course - minor changes depending on when your country observes or doesn't observe summer time. So please be aware that starting times may vary by season.
Read on for a full Champions League playing schedule below.
Europa League playing times
Since the Europa League playoffs start with a round of 32 rather than one of 16 as in the Champions League, times are divided between 17:55 GMT (18:55 CET, 12:55 ET) and 20:00 GMT (21:00 CET, 15:00 ET) in general. This also makes seeing more than one match easier, since they're all held on the same day - Thursday - anyway.
At the time of this writing, it is not yet clear to what extent the playing times will remain the same throughout spring, but we do know that Thursdays will be the official playing day for all matches... except the final, which is on a Wednesday.
The final will be played at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Gdánsk, Poland on 27 May 20:00 GMT (21:00 CET, 15:00 ET).
There is one caveat to this: matches that, if played on the same day, would create scheduling conflicts are subject to being moved. That is the case with Braga v Rangers on February 26, which would normally have been held on the next day with the rest of the round.
Full Champions League schedule
Here is the full 2019-20 CL schedule, including draw dates.
First up is the Round of 16 draw. Please note that the starting times are always the same in Europe (20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET) - but they're not in the US! This is due to miscellaneous timezone shenanigans. Hence, the first leg matches are played at 15:00 ET, but the return legs are played at 16:00 ET.
|RO 16 Leg||Date||Home||Away|
|Leg 1||18 Feb||Borussia Dortmund||Paris Saint-Germain|
|Leg 1||18 Feb||Atlético Madrid||Liverpool|
|Leg 1||19 Feb||Atalanta||Valencia|
|Leg 1||19 Feb||Tottenham Hotspur||RB Leipzig|
|Leg 1||25 Feb||Chelsea||Bayern Munich|
|Leg 1||25 Feb||Napoli||Barcelona|
|Leg 1||26 Feb||Real Madrid||Manchester City|
|Leg 1||26 Feb||Lyon||Juventus|
|Return leg||10 Mar||Valencia||Atalanta|
|Return leg||10 Mar||RB Leipzig||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Return leg||11 Mar||Paris Saint-Germain||Borussia Dortmund|
|Return leg||11 Mar||Liverpool||Atlético Madrid|
|Return leg||17 Mar||Manchester City||Real Madrid|
|Return leg||17 Mar||Juventus||Kyon|
|Return leg||18 Mar||Bayern Munich||Chelsea|
|Return leg||18 Mar||Barcelona||Napoli|
After that, here are the rest of the playing and draw dates. We're now back to regular timezone differences, meaning matches at 15:00 ET again.
|Event||Round||Dates & times|
|Draw||QFs & SFs||20 Mar @ 11:00 GMT / 12:00 CET / 07:00 ET|
|Quarter-finals||Leg 1||7-8 Apr @ 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET / 15:00 ET|
|Quarter-finals||Return leg||14-15 Apr @ 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET / 15:00 ET|
|Semi-finals||Leg 1||28-29 Apr @ 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET / 15:00 ET|
|Semi-finals||Return leg||5-6 May @ 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET / 15:00 ET|
|Final||-||30 May @ 20:00 GMT / 21:00 CET / 15:00 ET|
Full Europa League schedule
The schedule for the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League is long, but not very confusing. Matches are played on Thursdays at one of two times, and that's about the full extent of it.
First, here's the schedule for the Round of 32. The early games are held at 17:55 GMT (18:55 CET / 12:55 ET), and the late games are held at 20:00 GMT (21:00 CET / 15:00 ET).
|Team 1||Team 2||Leg 1||Return leg|
|Sporting||İstanbul Başakşehir||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (early)|
|Getafe||Ajax||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Copenhagen||Celtic||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|CFR Cluj||Sevilla||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Club Brugge||Manchester United||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Ludogorets||Inter Milan||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||Red Bull Salzburg||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||Benfica||20 Feb (early)||27 Feb (late)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Espanyol||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|Bayer Leverkusen||Porto||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|APOEL||Basel||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|AZ Alkmaar||LASK||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|Wolfsburg||Malmö FF||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|Roma||Gent||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (early)|
|Rangers||Braga||20 Feb (late)||26 Feb (early)|
|Olympiacos||Arsenal||20 Feb (late)||27 Feb (late)|
Then, we move on to draw and playing dates for the rest of spring.
|Round||Draw date||Leg 1||Return leg|
|Round of 32||Already held||20 Feb||27 Feb|
|Round of 16||28 Feb @ 12:00 GMT
13:00 CET / 07:00 ET
|12 Mar||19 Mar|
|Quarter-finals||20 Mar @ 12:00 GMT
13:00 CET / 07:00 ET
|9 Apr||16 Apr|
|Semi-finals||Same as semi-finals||30 Apr||7 May|
Champions League playing dates
Europa League Betting Preview
Match #1: Wolverhampton (ENG) vs. Espanyol (ESP)
These are two teams that nobody would have expected to be here just a few years ago. Then, Wolves became a Portuguese investment team and rapidly found themselves competing for the top half othe Premier League, just beneath the CL spots. Make no mistake: they'll be after those as well in a few years if they can - but for that, they'll need a bigger squad, as they tend to rely a lot on the same players.
If Wolves was a surprise a few years ago, Espanyol still are today. They had arguably the easiest group stage draw, but they're currently the very last team in an admittedly extremely close relegation battle in La Liga (see table here). Both teams have been brandishing freeflowing attacking football revivals lately, although Espanyol's eventually gave way to a more traditional style of play instead.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Wolverhampton @ -189 against Espanyol @ +137
All odds and stats on Wolverhampton v Espanyol available here.
Match #2: Sporting CP (POR) vs. İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR)
The Portuguese finishing second in their group was by no means a surprise, but the Turks emerging on top against Roma, Mönchengladbach, and Wolfsberg might have been the upset of the Europa League season so far. If they'd been placed in a simpler group, no way they'd be considered so highly by the bookies so far. Still, they're owned by the Turkish state, and you can probably figure out what that means. They were just two points off the title last year, just like three seasons ago, and so far they seem to be improving. I quite enjoy the Turkish tradition of collecting older former stars like Pokémon and combining them with younger homegrown talent, and they've got Demba Ba, Gökhan İnler, Martin Škrtel, and Gaël Clichy.
Still, Sporting are having a so-so year so far. The other two of the major three teams are pulling way ahead in the Primeira Liga, and Sporting lost immediately in the domestic cup back in October. Silas is still new to coaching, and I suppose the team ought to get some credit for putting their faith in a relatively new manager. Frankly, this is a team without a plan, although they've got Coates & Neto in the back, and players like Yannick Bolasie up top. Losing Bruno Fernandes was a huge blow to the club's long-term plans... and given how badly they appear to be managing their club right now, I frankly wouldn't be surprised if Basak... Başek... Başko... the Turks beat them.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Sporting @ -164 against Başakşehir @ +120
All odds and stats on Sporting v İstanbul Başakşehir available here.
Match #3: Getafe (ESP) vs. Ajax (NED)
Ajax were this close to making the CL RO16 but narrowly got refstomped by Chelsea instead, so here they are. Finally realising that you can't just field U23 players unless you're Liverpool, they started to mix it up a bit to get some experience into the team as well, and it's really worked. But they've lost a lot of players, and that's been costly: de Jong is in Barcelona, Wöber is in Sevilla, de Light is in Juve, Dolberg is in Nice... the list goes on.
Nevertheless, Erik ten Hag isn't one to let small setbacks like repeatedly having to renew his squad affect his long-term planning, and Ajax is still utilising the same basic strategy: 4-3-3 with a single playmaker, supported by pivots and a trio of deadly strikers.
Still, I quite fancy Getafe myself. They've the definite counterpoint to the Dutch team and the traditional Dutch school of thought, having taken shithousery to a completely new level this year. In terms of passing percentage, they're not just last in Europe's top five leagues this year - they're super, super, mega, ultra last. Not even two thirds of attempted passes make it to their intended recipients. They also have the most cards, and whatever else you have to say about Pepe Bordalás, he sure knows how to kill a football game.
Of course, given those stats, it's no surprise that Getafe is currently fighting for releg-... what? They're third? Ahead of Atléti, Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Valencia? Oh, right... they're actually good at what they do. Ajax are in for a hell of a fight, and if they make it, they'll be mending bruises for weeks afterwards.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Ajax @ -250 against Getafe @ +175
All odds and stats on Getafe v Ajax available here.
Match #4: Bayer Leverkusen (GER) vs. Porto (POR)
It's a bit mean to judge Leverkusen on their CL performance this year, with Juve and Atlético in the same group. Still, they played a remarkably fun game against Dortmund recently in which they won 4-3 and had defensive coaches all over the world contemplate seppuku. See, Leverkusen can't bloody decide how good they are. It's like they go over one thing on training on Thursday, then they do exactly that really well at match day on Saturday, but they also completely forget what they learned last week instead.
The short-term excellence and lack of long-term success has been a consistent problem of Peter Bosz, however odd that is to say given his Europa League final during the rejuvenation of Ajax. Yet here he is, facing a very exciting Porto that are doing the opposite: they've been consistently slightly better than their opposition all season. To be quite honest, I can't really commit to an impression of Porto, even if they've been doing the same thing over and over.
Lately, Porto have begun experimenting with their 4-1-3-2 formation a bit in top games, and it's worked. Perhaps it's because their closely related 4-4-2 with double sixes was too easy to read by top European teams? If that's the case, they'll be taking a more cautionary approach against Leverkusen.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Leverkusen @ -143 against Porto @ +105
All odds and stats on Bayer Leverkusen v Porto available here.
Match #5: Copenhagen (DEN) vs. Celtic (SCO)
The Danish champions emerged with just seven points to their name from the draw fiesta that was group B, and now they're to meet one of the best Celtics in a very long time. Frankly, this preview could be finished around here. But let's continue for a bit longer. Neil Lennon's in possession of a team that can play in a variety of styles as long as he doesn't put too many people up front. Of course, it's one thing facing Kilmarnock and St. Mirren, and it's another to cross the channel to the continent and try your wits against actual competition.
Still, Lennon's shown intelligence, fortitude, and a strong attacking midfield that can backtrack if required. That's more than Solbakken and his traditional 4-4-2 can claim - he's been consistently unwilling to switch things up, and the group stage matches showed just how much of a problem Copenhagen has in finding ways into the opposition box while maintaining ball possession. Sure, they concede really few goals - but they still ultimately had to rely on Lugano to save them in the last round.
This time, Lugano aren't available for help, and virtually everyone is in agreement that advancing through Celtic would be a minor scandal.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Celtic @ -333 against Copenhagen @ +240
All odds and stats on Copenhagen v Celtic available here.
Match #6: APOEL (CYP) vs. Basel (SUI)
Ah, yes, Cyprus and Switzerland - the classic footy countries! Yet these are two teams that have done well in Europe time and time again, and I for one am really looking forward to seeing them clash.
Having said that, APOEL Nicosia isn't the team they were a few years back, when they even made it into the Champions League. They're trailing in the league and they can't figure out how to play. Personally, I think their basic problem is that they're too one-dimensional in attack. It doesn't really matter if you try to find new ways of getting to the final quarter of the pitch if you only have one gameplan once you're there. To APOEL's credit, they do keep trying - but they're yet to find a working formula.
Basel, meanwhile, know exactly how they want to play - they just don't have the purchasing power to get everyone they want for it. Perhaps that's a bit mean. I really like the mix they've got of young players in training and slightly older ones with experience from whom the former can learn. If these guys can form a core team that remains for a few years, they might get back into the CL sooner than you'd think. And to that point, APOEL should just be another stepping stone.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Basel @ -357 against APOEL @ +250
All odds and stats on APOEL v Basel available here.
Match #7: Cluj (ROM) vs. Sevilla (ESP)
If Sevilla don't go through this easily, they will have thoroughly screwed up. They had the highest club coefficient going into the group stage, where they spent five games slaughtering admittedly weak opposition before phoning it in during the last game to concentrate on the home front. And a CL spot, maybe even a third place is certainly still up for grabs for Sevilla, so it's a bit hard to tell how they will divide their attention.
Still, it's bloody Cluj. And I mean no disrespect to Romanian football, which has a remarkable history well worth reading up on. It's just that they should by no means be good enough to be here. However, having said that, they were earmarked for last place in a group against Celtic, Rennes, and Lazio, and they finished with twelve points and well-earned pride.
National icon Dan Petrescu came back after a short stint in China and immediately started experimenting, before figuring that his wings work best if playing as support rather than as makeshift attackers. Hence, they now start their games in a similar mamnner to their Spanish opponents. But Sevilla base a lot of their game on possession, whereas Cluj have a more fluid, game-for-game take on what their midfield should be doing.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Sevilla @ -714 against Cluj @ +450
All odds and stats on Cluj v Sevilla available here.
Match #8: Olympiacos (GRE) vs. Arsenal (ENG)
Arsenal appear to be best suited for morose delectation as of lately, but at least they're not Olympiacos. Yet Gunners can certainly attack, they have young players with lots of potential, and perhaps Arteta will be the right man to bring them up to speed again - we'll see. It's just that their defense is shite enough to sport Sokratis, and frankly, I'm not even sure I'd want him as a centre back in Olympiacos.
... okay, that's not quite true. The Greeks do have the problem that they're too good for their own league, but a far cry from the heavyweight giants. Big fish in a small pond, if you will. They'd have actually had a very realistic chance against a number of potential other opponents. If you enjoy watching matches with a potential explosion in goals (although the average is likely to be much smaller), then this is a pretty good candidate.
However much Arteta is new and Arsenal can't defend and the squad isn't fit enough to run for 90 minutes - and however much this is a time for trying out new things - Arsenal should probably be roughly as large favourites as they are. I don't like the odds on anything in this matchup, personally.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Arsenal @ -400 against Olympiakos @ +275
All odds and stats on Olympiacos v Arsenal available here.
Match #9: AZ Alkmaar (NED) vs. LASK (AUT)
I do wish that I'd written "AZ Alkmaar" consistently when I first began writing my notes for this, because it turns out that just writing "AZ" will make searching for them later very annoying. That's not to do with anything, though. The cheeseheads have some sort of inofficial policy where they only sign players from countries with red, white, and blue flags, except for Wuytens. Ah, sorry, here I go off-topic again. Let's talk about LASK instead.
LASK is a team with a strategy that's easy to read, and they're dead simple to scout because they keep doing just a few things remarkably well. As always, this is a double-edged sword. If they're found out, they can be easy to take out. I don't think either team was significantly upset about the draw, though. They could both feasibly gain an advantage in the first match, but I wouldn't expect LASK to change their gameplan for the return, regardless of the scoreline in leg 1.
Okay, back to AZ. They've only won the Eredivisie twice: in 1981 and in 2009. And they actually have a shot at it again. This is important, because they'll need to prioritise on two fronts, and they don't really have the squad depth for it - especially if they suffer an injury to a key player. LASK is more of an "equally average" team, with a system everyone knows and can play well. Hence, if this is a match on which you want to bet, it might be worth keeping close track on everything surrounding it up until you have enough info to feel confident. News and odds may change things drastically - if not by the next playing date, then perhaps by the second leg.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: AZ Alkmaar @ -133 against LASK @ -100
All odds and stats on AZ Alkmaar v LASK available here.
Match #10: Club Brugge (BEL) vs. Manchester United (ENG)
The Belgians have had some of the most active - and weirdest - transfer windows in Europe lately. They must be doing something right, because everybody and their hamster want a piece of Brugge. Still, they manage to get good players back - like Mignolet, the most obvious example. There's no shortage of talent in the team, despite recent sales.
At this point, Manchester United have already known for a while that their best shot at the Champions League might be winning the Europa League (again). And sure, they could do it. Brugge usually want possession, and United under Solskjær do best against such teams, however weird it still feels to write that. So far United have taken the tournament exactly as seriously as they've needed to. It shouldn't take much more again Brugge, but it'll also depend a lot on squad availability.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Manchester United @ -333 against Brugge @ +240
All odds and stats on Club Brugge v Manchester United available here.
Match #11: Ludogorets (BUL) vs. Inter Milan (ITA)
The mots lopsided match in the RO32, and for good reason: Inter under Conte has turned into a title contender - Sánchez has new-form self-confidence, Erikson just joined, and Lukaku's tummy just stopped hurting. I suspect they'll have a decent shot at going deep in next year's CL if Conte hasn't lost his marbles by then. They're certainly good enough to win this year's edition of the Europa League.
Ludogorets Razgrad, on the other hand, is... well... not. They don't develop talent but rather buy it, they have no long-term policy for managers, and they were lucky to get out of one of the weakest group alive - but certainly not unscathed. At least their most recent coach - Pavel Vrba - is someone who actually prefers to play the same way they already did, so there should be little risk of losing continuity.
It's just that Inter are very, very comfortable defending against that type of team, and Ludogorets won't have a lot of options to get the ball all the way inside. And since Inter can also score at will this year, the Bulgarians are going to be up for a hell of an uphill battle.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Inter @ -1000 against Ludogorets @ +600
All odds and stats on Ludogorets v Inter Milan available here.
Match #12: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) vs. Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
This might be the most interesting matchup of the round for me! Two teams who impressed hugely only to lose their best players, with interesting long-term strategies, and a focus on youth. There's also the aspect of Adi Hütter, now at Frankfurt, having previously coached the Austrians. To be fair, it did take the Germans a while to regroup after last season's unmitigated success. Recent results suggest that they've made good use of the winter break, though, and Hütter finally giving up on the romantic idea of a freeflowing midfield in order to focus on foundations appears to have worked wonders.
Salzburg, meanwhile, is further and definite proof that the sports drink company is doing something well. In fact, they're not supposed to be this good - they're a feeder club, and yet they were good enough to almost knock out Liverpool or Napoli from the Champions League. Now they've lost Haaland and Minamino, and of course this will affect their overall strength. But they're still the same whirlwind team that runs down opponents and is a delight to watch - not terribly unlike last year's Eintracht Frankfurt.
This matchup may well come down to who has best learned the lessons from losing your best players. Salzburg may have the better foundation beyond that, but Frankfurt have had more time to do their homework. I for one can't wait for leg 1 to come around.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Salzburg @ -143 against Frankfurt @ +105
All odds and stats on Eintracht Frankfurt v Red Bull Salzburg available here.
Match #13: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs. Benfica (POR)
Donetsk, a Brazilian team with some Ukrainians added for good measure, are doing exactly what they usually do: crushing all domestic competition, and then playing well enough to almost be a threat but not really make it. Of course, this is just what Benfica want to do as well, it's just that the Portuguese league actually has more good teams than just the one.
This year's rendition of Benfica is better than Donetsk in virtually every aspect of the game. And they were so, so close to advancing in the Champions League as well, while Donetsk were expected not to. I think Benfica is versatile enough, and have enough intelligent, on-the-spot-thinking players, that Shakhtar can't really compete in any department except possibly winger quality. At least they can understand what their opponents are shouting on the pitch.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Benfica @ -175 against Donetsk @ +125
All odds and stats on Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica available here.
Match #14: Wolfsburg (GER) vs. Malmö FF (SWE)
Malmö's beloved son finally came back after a long international career at various top clubs in Europe. Perhaps Marcus Rosenberg should have gotten that statue instead of Zlatan. And he ended his career by shooting his team through to the RO32, where they will be sent back to Scania by a fraudulent car manufacturer.
Or maybe they won't. The Bundesliga has been awfully competitive this year, and the Wolves aren't stepping up to it. Losing to Bayern and Dortmund is one thing, but struggling against Köln and Düsseldorf is absolutely not acceptable. Still, they're plenty ahead in a man-for-man comparison, and they have the added benefit of actually being mid-season, as opposed to the Swedes who do not traditionally play football in the winter. Perhaps they'll be able to start soon, if global warming continues.
It's not just that Wolfsburg have been struggling to find results this year - what's worse is that they can't figure out a way to play, either. And as we all know, just trying different things until something works doesn't actually work. You need time for players to learn a system well, and they sure can't if you don't have one to teach them. Malmö, meanwhile, actually have a system - or, more specifically, a base with some variations. It remains to be seen to what extend their newly appointed manager, Jon Dahl Tomasson, intends to spice things up.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Wolfsburg @ -227 against Malmö @ +162
All odds and stats on Wolfsburg v Malmö available here.
Match #15: Roma (ITA) vs. Gent (BEL)
Roma should be thanking their lucky stars for this draw, because they really haven't been performing as well as I think they should be. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh - they are, after all, fifth in a top league with three very, very good teams this season. But they're also in a slump domestically and should by all means have been better in the group stage. So, again, they're lucky to face Gent.
It's not that Gent are bad, absolutely not. They're yet to lose in this competition, and that's because they've been really good at adapting to their opponents. That in itself is a good argument for Roma having to be careful: Gent scores in almost every game they play, and the Italians are allergic to clean sheets. Still, not too many Gent players would make the Italian team, and they will have to be very disciplined and cohesive if they want to stand up against the likes of Dzeko, Kluivert, and... uhm... Smalling. Ironically, I think Ünder would have been a perfect player for Gent's system.
Favourites to qualify for the next round: Roma @ -303 against Gent @ +225
All odds and stats on Roma v Gent available here.
Match #16: Rangers (SCO) vs. Braga (Por)
Kilmarnock killed Gerrard's dreams of preventing Celtic's fabled tenth, and I do wonder if Rangers can regroup to beat Braga. Just making the RO32 has to be called a success - they had a tough group, and they certainly don't have a renowned squad. If anything, Rangers are at least a year ahead of where they rightfully should be by now.
Braga, on the other hand, impressed hugely in their group and are doing about as well as expected in the Primeira Liga. They have a very interesting player in Trincão, or perhaps had, since Barcelona just bought him for €31+ million euros. He'll join the Catalonians in the summer, so he still has time to defeat a few pesky Scots firsts.
I do like this iteration of Rangers, but I can't say that I think the odds match up to reality. Their only major asset is Alfredo Morelo, who is as brilliant as he is stupid. He could easily take an early red card in the first leg, just as easily as he might score two. But I still think Braga should be better off.
Ranger @ -111 and Braga @ -111 is a rare battle where neither team is favoured by the bookies.
All odds and stats on Rangers v Braga available here.
Europa League quick stats
Champions League Goalscorer Odds
At this point in the tournament, the best goalscorer competition is normally, well... a bit more open. But Robert Lewandowski is the best Champions League striker right now; he has absolutely crushed it this season, and he's the odds favourite by a huge margin. Still, if you wish to bet on other players to overtake him - here are the odds.
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||-2500|
|Erling Braut Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||+1400|
|Raheem Sterling||Man City||+2000|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||+5000|
|Serge Gnabry||Bayern Munich||+10000|
|Sergio Aguero||Man City||+10000|
Europa League outrights
Little wonder Sevilla are odds favourites with the bookies right now, having won a record five prior tournaments. Inter Milan share those odds, at +600, while Apoel Nicosia to win would grant you a spectacular 751x return on your stake. Here are all current outright winners odds.
Previous Champions & Europa League Winners
While the UEFA Champions League has technically only existed since 1992, it was really founded in 1955, and the name change was just a matter of branding.
Impressively, the fabled 1950s Real Madrid side - with players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano - won the five first issues of the tournament. But even if we start counting after that, they'd still be leaders of the all-time winners list with eight additional titles!
In other words, no other team comes even remotely close, with Milan second at 7 and Liverpool third at 6. Bayern Munich and Barcelona have another 5 each, and Ajax have 4 victories.
Obviously, this also skews the performance by nation somewhat. Spanish clubs have won a record 18 times and finished second 11 times. England is second with 13-9 stats, and Italy a close third at 12-16. Three teams have managed a single final but no win: Belgium (Club Brugge, 1978), Greece (Panathinaikos, 1971), and my own native Sweden (Malmö FF, 1979 - two years before Zlatan was born in the same city).
In total, 140 clubs have played in the Champions League or European Cup, from 33 different nations - impressive! Spain and Germany both lead with 13 each, with a trio of England, Italy, and France trailing at 10 each.
Four teams have won the tournament unbeaten twice: Liverpool (80/81 & 83/84), Milan (88/89 & 93/94), Ajax (71/72 & 94/95), and Manchester United (98/99 & 07/08). And weirdly, PSV Eindhoven won in 87/88 despite just netting three victories in all - and none in the QFs, SFs, or final, which were all tied.
Here is a list of all finals played, with winners and runners-up. (Source: Wikipedia)
|1955–56||ESP||Real Madrid||4–3||FRA||Reims||Parc des Princes, Paris||38,239|
|1956–57||ESP||Real Madrid||2–0||ITA||Fiorentina||Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid||124,000|
|1957–58||ESP||Real Madrid||3–2 (ET)||ITA||Milan||Heysel Stadium, Brussels||67,000|
|1958–59||ESP||Real Madrid||2–0||FRA||Reims||Neckarstadion, Stuttgart||72,000|
|1959–60||ESP||Real Madrid||7–3||FRG||Eintracht Frankfurt||Hampden Park, Glasgow||127,621|
|1960–61||POR||Benfica||3–2||ESP||Barcelona||Wankdorf Stadium, Bern||26,732|
|1961–62||POR||Benfica||5–3||ESP||Real Madrid||Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam||61,257|
|1962–63||ITA||Milan||2–1||POR||Benfica||Wembley Stadium, London||45,715|
|1963–64||ITA||Internazionale||3–1||ESP||Real Madrid||Prater Stadium, Vienna||71,333|
|1964–65||ITA||Internazionale||1–0||POR||Benfica||San Siro, Milan||89,000|
|1965–66||ESP||Real Madrid||2–1||YUG||Partizan||Heysel Stadium, Brussels||46,745|
|1966–67||SCO||Celtic||2–1||ITA||Internazionale||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon||45,000|
|1967–68||ENG||Manchester United||4–1 (ET)||POR||Benfica||Wembley Stadium, London||92,225|
|1968–69||ITA||Milan||4–1||NED||Ajax||Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid||31,782|
|1969–70||NED||Feyenoord||2–1 (ET)||SCO||Celtic||San Siro, Milan||53,187|
|1970–71||NED||Ajax||2–0||GRE||Panathinaikos||Wembley Stadium, London||83,179|
|1971–72||NED||Ajax||2–0||ITA||Internazionale||De Kuip, Rotterdam||61,354|
|1972–73||NED||Ajax||1–0||ITA||Juventus||Red Star Stadium, Belgrade||89,484|
|1973–74||FRG||Bayern Munich||4–0 (Replay)||ESP||Atlético Madrid||Heysel Stadium, Brussels||72,047|
|1974–75||FRG||Bayern Munich||2–0||ENG||Leeds United||Parc des Princes, Paris||48,374|
|1975–76||FRG||Bayern Munich||1–0||FRA||Saint-Étienne||Hampden Park, Glasgow||54,864|
|1976–77||ENG||Liverpool||3–1||FRG||Borussia Mönchengladbach||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||57,000|
|1977–78||ENG||Liverpool||1–0||BEL||Club Brugge||Wembley Stadium, London||92,500|
|1978–79||ENG||Nottingham Forest||1–0||SWE||Malmö FF||Olympiastadion, Munich||57,500|
|1979–80||ENG||Nottingham Forest||1–0||FRG||Hamburg||Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid||51,000|
|1980–81||ENG||Liverpool||1–0||ESP||Real Madrid||Parc des Princes, Paris||48,360|
|1981–82||ENG||Aston Villa||1–0||FRG||Bayern Munich||De Kuip, Rotterdam||46,000|
|1982–83||FRG||Hamburg||1–0||ITA||Juventus||Olympic Stadium, Athens||73,500|
|1983–84||ENG||Liverpool||1–1 (Pens)||ITA||Roma||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||69,693|
|1984–85||ITA||Juventus||1–0||ENG||Liverpool||Heysel Stadium, Brussels||58,000|
|1985–86||ROU||Steaua București||0–0 (Pens)||ESP||Barcelona||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, Seville||70,000|
|1986–87||POR||Porto||2–1||FRG||Bayern Munich||Prater Stadium, Vienna||57,500|
|1987–88||NED||PSV Eindhoven||0–0 (Pens)||POR||Benfica||Neckarstadion, Stuttgart||68,000|
|1988–89||ITA||Milan||4–0||ROU||Steaua București||Camp Nou, Barcelona||97,000|
|1989–90||ITA||Milan||1–0||POR||Benfica||Prater Stadium, Vienna||57,558|
|1990–91||YUG||Red Star Belgrade||0–0 (Pens)||FRA||Marseille||Stadio San Nicola, Bari||56,000|
|1991–92||ESP||Barcelona||1–0 (ET)||ITA||Sampdoria||Wembley Stadium, London||70,827|
|1993–94||ITA||Milan||4–0||ESP||Barcelona||Olympic Stadium, Athens||70,000|
|1995–96||ITA||Juventus||1–1 (Pens)||NED||Ajax||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||70,000|
|1996–97||GER||Borussia Dortmund||3–1||ITA||Juventus||Olympiastadion, Munich||59,000|
|1997–98||ESP||Real Madrid||1–0||ITA||Juventus||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam||48,500|
|1998–99||ENG||Manchester United||2–1||GER||Bayern Munich||Camp Nou, Barcelona||90,245|
|1999–2000||ESP||Real Madrid||3–0||ESP||Valencia||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||80,000|
|2000–01||GER||Bayern Munich||1–1 (Pens)||ESP||Valencia||San Siro, Milan||71,500|
|2001–02||ESP||Real Madrid||2–1||GER||Bayer Leverkusen||Hampden Park, Glasgow||50,499|
|2002–03||ITA||Milan||0–0 (Pens)||ITA||Juventus||Old Trafford, Manchester||62,315|
|2003–04||POR||Porto||3–0||FRA||Monaco||Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen||53,053|
|2004–05||ENG||Liverpool||3–3 (Pens)||ITA||Milan||Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul||69,000|
|2005–06||ESP||Barcelona||2–1||ENG||Arsenal||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||79,610|
|2006–07||ITA||Milan||2–1||ENG||Liverpool||Olympic Stadium, Athens||63,000|
|2007–08||ENG||Manchester United||1–1 (Pens)||ENG||Chelsea||Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow||67,310|
|2008–09||ESP||Barcelona||2–0||ENG||Manchester United||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||62,467|
|2009–10||ITA||Internazionale||2–0||GER||Bayern Munich||Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid||73,490|
|2010–11||ESP||Barcelona||3–1||ENG||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium, London||87,695|
|2011–12||ENG||Chelsea||1–1 (Pens)||GER||Bayern Munich||Allianz Arena, Munich||62,500|
|2012–13||GER||Bayern Munich||2–1||GER||Borussia Dortmund||Wembley Stadium, London||86,298|
|2013–14||ESP||Real Madrid||4–1 (ET)||ESP||Atlético Madrid||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon||60,976|
|2015–16||ESP||Real Madrid||1–1 (Pens)||ESP||Atlético Madrid||San Siro, Milan||71,942|
|2016–17||ESP||Real Madrid||4–1||ITA||Juventus||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff||65,842|
|2017–18||ESP||Real Madrid||3–1||ENG||Liverpool||NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev||61,561|
|2018–19||ENG||Liverpool||2–0||ENG||Tottenham Hotspur||Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid||63,272|
List of Europa League winners
Much like the Champions League, the second-tier UEFA tournament was initially called something else - namely, the UEFA Cup. It was then rebranded in 2009 into the Europa Leauge it is today. Ten years earlier, in 1999, UEFA had abolished the Cup Winners' Cup and put qualifying teams into the UEFA Cup instead.
Unlike the Champions League, however, the UEFA Cup actually used to play its finals over two legs as well. This didn't change until the 1997-98 season, but today it follows the same format, and the single final is played on the Wednesday prior to the Champions League final.
Lately, Spain and England appear to have held a joint subscription to Europa League titles, with no other team winning since Porto in 2011. Spain are also historically the most successful, with 11 wins and 5 additional finals. England and Italy come in second with 9 wins each, though England have 7 additional finals to Italy's 6. French teams have, impressively, played in five finals and lost all of them. Scotland are almost as bad, with zero wins in three finals attempts.
Sevilla, it has to be said, have 5 wins in 5 finals. They've played in more finals than any other team (several have four each), and they've won every single one they've been in. No other team have five wins. On the other hand, Benfica and Marseille have both been in three finals only to lose all of them.
Below is a list of all winners and runners-up, courtesy of Wikipedia. And with that, we thank you for reading this far, and wish you all the best in your UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League betting!
|71-72||Tottenham Hotspur||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|78-79||Borussia Mönchengladbach||Red Star Belgrade|
|79-80||Eintracht Frankfurt||Borussia Mönchengladbach|
|80-81||Ipswich Town||AZ Alkmaar|
|86-87||IFK Göteborg||Dundee United|
|96-97||Schalke 04||Inter Milan|
|04-05||CSKA Moscow||Sporting CP|
|07-08||Zenit St. Petersburg||Rangers|
|08-09||Shakhtar Donetsk||Werder Bremen|
|11-12||Atlético Madrid||Athletic Bilbao|