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The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup has been run annually since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most important European football competition, after the UEFA Champions League.
Places are awarded to the runners-up in top-flight leagues of Europe and the winners of the main cup competitions. France and England also have secondary cup competitions which grant the winners a place in the Europa League.
The competition starts in July with 3 qualifying rounds and a play-off, then a group stage and a knockout stage.
The higher a countries football association is ranked, the later its clubs start in the competition. Teams that are knocked out of the Champions League will also join the Europa League. Beginning with the 2018–19 tournament, all domestic champions eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League will transfer to the Europa League, rather than just teams that are eliminated in the third-qualifying and play-off rounds.
From the 2021/22 season UEFA has announced the introduction of the UEFA Conference League which would split off the lower-ranked teams in the Europa League to give them a greater chance to compete. The Europa League will have a reduced format focussing around its group stage. There would also be an additional knockout round before the knockout phase proper, allowing for third-placed teams in the Champions League group stage to fall into the Europa League while still keeping the knockout stage itself at only 16 teams.
28 different clubs have won the Europa League, with 13 winning more than once. The most successful team in the tournaments history is Sevilla, having won the title 6 times up to the 2020 season. Sevilla are also one of only 2 teams to have retained their title in successive seasons, the other being Real Madrid.
Spain is the most successful nation in the tournament, with Spanish teams having claimed the title 12 times. They are followed closely by Italy and England with 9 wins each. France are the country with the most final appearances without ever having won the cup, they have appeared in the final 5 times.
Like other European tournaments, bets placed on the Europa League can be on the nationality of winners, as well as on individual clubs to win outright. The entry of knockouts from the Champions League competition at the later stages means that they are often favourites as outright winners of the competition.
After the group stages bets can also be placed on which stage clubs will be eliminated from the competition.
It is also possible to place a bet on both finalists coming from the same national association. Something that has happened in 10 finals since 1972.
|18 September 2020||Play Off Draw|
|2 October 2020||Group Stage Draw|
|14 December 2020||Round of 32 Draw|
|26 February 2021||Round of 16 Draw|
|8th & 15th April 2021||Quarter finals|
|29th April & 6th May 2021||Semi finals|
|26th May 2021||Final|