UEFA Europa League Football Betting

UEFA's younger brother tournament to the Champions League. The Europa League is European club football's second tier tournament, formally known as the UEFA Cup.

As ardent fans of online betting it's fair to assume that you like to keep your fingers on the button of what's happening in the exciting, fast-paced world of interactive football betting; your chosen specialist subject. Yet as a starter for ten, just how many of you virtual punters knew that the UEFA Cup had been renamed in 2009? Exactly. Hardly ushered in with a blaze of publicity, nonetheless somewhere in Europe a press conference addressed the advent of the inaugural UEFA Europa League recently, so we thought it was a prudent time to give you the heads up on what UEFA Europa League football betting means to the online gambling community. And moreover, what you can get out of it. Simply meaning making heads or tails of it in some cases.

Our Top Recommended Bookmakers for Europa League Football Betting

When all's said and done the new UEFA Europa League sees the merger of what formerly was the UEFA Cup with what formerly was the UEFA Intertoto Cup - which stood the test of time as UEFA's third tier of pan-European footballing competition - and directly results in an enlarged format that covers an expanded group stage and revised qualification criteria. 

UEFA Meddling Makes Europa League Difficult For Online Betting Predictions

Yup. The UEFA Europa League is the new name for what was hitherto called the UEFA Cup. Naturally once all the dust settled the casual observer noticed that it's nothing more than a simple re-branding to bring the UEFA Cup in line with the glamour and mystique that envelops the UEFA Champions League, and that nothing's really changed. Or has it?

Essentially the UEFA Europa League is an on-going tournament that runs alongside the UEFA Champions League, comprising eligible football clubs from all across Europe that failed to finish the previous domestic league season higher than fifth place. As your mum used to say, there's no such thing as losers, just winners and runner-ups, so to prove that point UEFA mandarins voted to bandy together the two poor relations in the UEFA annual competition family and give it a visionary new moniker and point of reference. Allegedly. And once the dust had settled online punters suddenly noticed UEFA Europa league football betting sections appearing like unexplained crop circles on their favourite virtual bookies' website.

To heighten its profile and enhance its image is one thing, and on paper a rather simplistic turn of events, however the reality of the newly re-jigged UEFA Europa League is the underlying fact that thanks to a myriad of qualifying rounds it's played out over a mammoth 11-month season. If a team from the start goes all the way to the final that is, whilst ordinarily it will, generally-speaking, take a club a minimum of some 15 games to go the full distance.

Now whilst a revamped UEFA Cup is not entirely an original concept - given that it's already seen a series of rebirths over the years - it's pretty much strictly adhered to the self same tried and tested formula. Historically referred to as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (familiar to Geordie football fans as the last piece of silverware that Newcastle United added to a since baron trophy cabinet) and the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup in its previous incarnations, it's perhaps best known as the good, old fashioned UEFA Cup to the majority on football fans out there.

New UEFA Europa League Group Format Throws Up Online Betting Challenge

So what's the big idea you ask, and what's changed? Well, 12 groups of 4 teams are introduced as of the second round, replacing the existing - and universally accepted as out of kilter - 8 groups of 5 teams. What transpires as a result of this update is that rather than being a single round robin structure, the second round becomes a double round robin. Meaning that each team will play every other in that particular group twice. That's after a series of qualifying rounds similar to the comings and goings experienced in the Intertoto Cup's lifetime. I.e, somewhat exhaustive for all those competing.

Qualification also witnesses a sea-change too, with football associations ranked between 7 – 9 in the UEFA coefficients (statistics used to determine seedings for football teams for international tournament reasons, as well as help ascertain rankings that involve a lot of contrived calculus and chin-rubbing) invited to put their domestic cup winning club on a season of short haul flights, along with three other of their top finishing club sides. Well, top finishing whence you've taken into account the UEFA Champions League participants. So usually teams that finish fourth place of worse across the main Europa leagues. The same rule applies to European football associations who aren't thought of as highly once the applied mathematics is concluded, with the exception of two 'other' teams making their way to the departure lounges of continental airports. Unless of course your team is based in Liechtenstein, Andorra or San Marino. In which case you can only send your cup winning team and count yourself lucky you're included at all.

New UEFA Europa League Could Pit David Versus Goliath Football Fixtures

Three places in the first of four qualifying rounds for the UEFA Europa League are cordoned off for Fair Play winners from the season before. So for clubs who haven't abused/bribed match officials, dissed their opponents, let their fans rip up seating or whose players have received the lowest number of yellow or red cards will be rewarded by getting a Europa league berth for their sporting gestures.

Every team has to play in one of the four initial qualification rounds - save the actual cup holder - however the higher the club's UEFA coefficient, the later they enter the qualification stages. As was the case with the UEFA Cup before it, losing finalists in the simultaneously-run UEFA Champions League will be automatically entered in the Europa League group stages as and when they fall at the Champions League's first hurdle, the group stages, adding another dimension of competition to the melting pot. Although more will limp out of Champions League action to join the remaining Europa League combatants as the competition hots up.

The 12 winners and 12 runners up from the group stage will then progress to the first knock out round, together with the eight third placed team overspill from the Champions League. You still with us? Good. Then in that case you've got the gist of the new UEFA Europa League in a nutshell. Congratulations and happy betting folks!