2013/14 Europa League tips - Essential guide to picking Europa League winners

The UEFA Europa League trophy.

The 2013/14 Europa League will once again contain the usual mix of some well known teams and some you'd struggle to locate on a map. 

Get the biggest and best Europa League odds at Pinnacle Sports.

While Tottenham and their EPL stars will be instantly recognisable, the history and talent of the likes of FC Thun will be something of a mystery to even the most die-hard of fans of the game in Europe.

With it's group stages followed by the insertion of unlucky losers from the Champions League, the Europa League is a strange competition with a unique format. Understanding more about that format, such as the coefficients, and who takes the competition seriously is key to making a profit.

Our friends at Pinnacle Sports have come up with some important pointers to take into consideration when betting on the Europa League.

Understand who is taking the tournament seriously

The Europa League can be viewed as the Champions League’s dirty cousin – more of a hindrance than an opportunity for bigger European teams, who are more focused on domestic success. Understanding which teams regard the Europa League as a nuisance and which teams want to win is key to successful Europa League betting. A recent change in the rules has made the competition slightly more valuable, as the competition’s winner is rewarded with a place in the following year's Champions League.

Keep on top of current coefficients

Bettors should understand UEFA’s European coefficient tables – Club & Country – instead of relying on preconceptions and traditional ideas of European soccer hierarchies as a betting guide. For instance bettors can be guilty of over-estimating the value of teams they are familiar with, or teams that are fashionable, rather than form or past European strength. The coefficient system is not without its detractors, however. Because the number is averaged over five years, one poor season can skew data dramatically downwards. Likewise, if a team starts to lose form over three years, but won a title five years ago, the coefficient might be artificially high. Therefore it’s important to not just examine the overall coefficient, but the five-year numbers it is generated from.

FA Cup winners Wigan are in this year's Europa League.

Thorough research pays off

When betting on individual Europa League matches, research is a bettor’s best friend. By understanding as much about both teams will give the bettor the best chance of making a profit. In addition to teams that rank highly in their domestic league, the Europa League is riddled with teams who have qualified as domestic cup final winners or losers. Traditionally, league qualifiers show greater reliability than their cup-qualifying rivals, although they have proven they can raise their game for an occasion. For example Wigan are currently playing in the English Championship after being relegated from the EPL last season, however they qualified for the competition by beating Man City in the FA Cup final.

Study domestic form

Researching the domestic form of clubs across the continent is a great way to gain knowledge on who are on unbeaten runs, who are struggling, which teams are defensively solid and which teams struggle to score. Understanding a club's form before betting will give the punter the best chance to make informed judgments, and make sure they don’t miss out on opportunities to make a profit.

Beware the foreign fortress

Bettors frequently underestimate European teams in their own stadium, by assuming that because they are a weaker team than their opposition, they won’t be good at home. For instance, Turkish giants Fenerbahce have lost just four games at home in their last 70 fixtures at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium – although despite qualifying, they won’t be competing in European football for two years. Realising which teams have a fortress at home is key to ensuring you are on the right track to make a profit on your Europa League betting journey.

Chelsea won the Europa League after dropping out of the Champions League.

Champions League dropouts

When selecting your Europa League betting picks you should always consider the teams that have entered the knockout stages after being eliminated from the Champions League. Last season saw European giants Chelsea, Benfica and Ajax take the step down from Europe’s bigger club competition, and Chelsea went on to become the first team to win the Europa League following a Champions League victory.

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2013/14 Europa League tips - Essential guide to picking Europa League winners

The 2013/14 Europa League will once again contain the usual mix of some well known teams and some you'd struggle to locate on a map. Use this essential guide to make it a profitable tournament.

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