The 2022/23 Europa League gets underway in early September and will once again feature some of the biggest clubs on the continent.
Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal are both in UEFA’s second tier competition and are amongst the favourites to join the Europa League winners list this term.
Last season’s Europa Conference League winners Roma are also in the line-up and could progress a long way under manager Jose Mourinho.
Read on as we take a closer look at the key dates for the 2022/23 Europa League, before assessing who we think will emerge victorious next May.
2022/23 Europa League Schedule
- Matchday 1: September 8
- Matchday 2: September 15
- Matchday 3: October 6
- Matchday 4: October 13
- Matchday 5: October 27
- Matchday 6: November 3
- Knockout round play-offs: February 16 & 23
- Round of 16: March 9 & 16
- Quarter-finals: April 13 & 20
- Semi-finals: May 11 & 18
- Final: May 31
2022/23 Europa League Preview
The structure of the Europa League undoubtedly makes it extremely difficult to predict a winner this far in advance.
The group stage features eight groups of four teams, with the winners of each section advancing directly to the round of 16.
The runners-up progress to the knockout stage play-off round, where they will face eight teams transferring from the Champions League who finished third in their groups.
This creates the prospect of some of Europe’s biggest clubs dropping into the competition after the group phase has been completed.
Several big hitters joined the Europa League in this manner last season including Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
However, only Leipzig made it to the last four, where they were beaten on aggregate by Scottish Premiership giants Rangers.
West Ham United and Eintracht Frankfurt met in the other semi-final, with the Bundesliga club progressing before beating Rangers on penalties in the final.
That match attracted a massive audience on live soccer streams and there is likely to be plenty of interest in this season’s competition.
Man United are undoubtedly the biggest club in the Europa League this term, but it would be a brave move to back them to lift the trophy.
The club have endured a torrid summer, with new manager Erik ten Hag struggling to significantly improve his squad during the transfer window.
The Red Devils were woeful in their first two league games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, and it will take a major turnaround for them to be competitive in Europe.
By contrast, fellow Premier League club Arsenal have done some excellent business this summer and could be the team to beat in the Europa League.
Gabriel Jesus’ arrival from Manchester City has given the Gunners a cutting edge and they have looked impressive during the early part of the campaign.
Arsenal finished runners-up in this competition in 2018/19 and look a good bet to go a long way this time around.
Their biggest threat could come from Roma, who have looked much-improved since Mourinho took over as manager last summer.
The Portuguese guided Roma to success in the Europa Conference League last season and has a track record for taking European competitions seriously.
The Serie A club have completed some shrewd signings this summer, with Paulo Dybala’s arrival on a free transfer unquestionably the pick of the bunch.
The former Juventus star has won plenty of silverware during his career and is the type of player who could flourish under Mourinho’s management.
An interesting outsider in the Europa League may be Real Betis, who were narrowly defeated by the eventual winners Eintracht in the round of 16 last season.
They have made some solid additions to their talented squad and could make their mark on the competition if they get on a roll.
Predicting who will drop into the Europa League from the Champions League is virtually impossible, but all eight teams should be considered as potential winners when it happens.
2022/23 Europa League Prediction
Given the difficulties Man United are experiencing at the moment, there is zero value in backing them to win the Europa League.
Arsenal and Roma both appeal as the most likely winners, with slight preference for the Italian side with Mourinho in charge.
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