Europa League futures: Liverpool a clear favorite ahead of play-offs

Europa League futures: Liverpool a clear favorite ahead of play-offs

The Champions League is the prized competition in club football, but the Europa League is no pushover, either. We have several big sides left in the tournament with the playoffs round approaching next week, with 32 teams left. Liverpool is the clear-cut favorite to win it all after a dominant group stage campaign, but some others are also expected to be in the mix when it’s all said and done including AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Brighton, and West Ham, to name a few. Below, we’ll discuss some of these clubs and their chances of lifting the Europa trophy.

Quick Take

  • Liverpool is favored to win the Europa League with the Round of 32 approaching
  • Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan are two other clubs to keep an eye on
  • Continue reading for the preview


Considering the top form Liverpool is in, it’s hard to even fathom they’re in Europa and not the Champions League. Jurgen Klopp’s men are in first place in the Premier League table with 45 points and look more than capable of winning the title. And while their focus is surely on England, Europa is a competition the Merseysiders should technically win, too. The Reds finished top of Group E but did lose a pair of games. That being said, it’s because Klopp didn’t always play his full-strength squad. Liverpool doesn't have to play in the Round of 32 because they finished in first. The club will await their Round of 16 opponent. The Merseysiders are a +225 favorite to win the competition.

Bayer Leverkusen

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about what Xabi Alonso has done with Leverkusen this term. The German outfit is unbeaten across all competitions in 2023-24, topping the Bundesliga standings with a flawless 13-3-0 record. They’ve bagged 46 goals in 16 games while conceding only 12 times. Mind-boggling. When it comes to Europa, Bayer was a perfect 6-0-0 in Group H, averaging three goals per match. This is a confident and very good side that cannot be taken lightly. With so many different players who can produce in the final third, Leverkusen is legit.

AC Milan

Milan is one of the most successful sides in Champions League history and even made the semifinals of the competition last season before losing to rivals Inter. But, their 2023-24 UCL campaign was poor enough that the Rossoneri have switched over to Europa. Because of that, Milan will need to play in the Round of 32 against French side Rennes. Stefano Pioli’s group is having a decent Serie A season though, occupying third place behind Juventus and Inter, respectively.


The Seagulls aren’t typically in Europe at all but their impressive 2022-23 EPL campaign earned them a spot in Europa. Brighton hasn’t wasted the opportunity either, winning Group B with a 4-1-1 record, finishing above the likes of Ajax, Marseille, and AEK Athens. This was not an easy pod yet the Seagulls proved their worth. Roberto De Zerbi’s side isn’t having the best Premier League season, but getting far in Europa is very much possible. They’ve already booked a spot in the Round of 16.

West Ham

The Hammers won the UEFA Conference League last season and also made it to the semifinals of the Europa the year prior, losing to Frankfurt just before possibly making the showpiece. While West Ham’s form has been inconsistent domestically, they flew through Group A with a 5-0-1 record. This is a club that does have experience in Europe over the last couple of years. The Hammers are top-five in the Europa League futures at soccer betting sites.