Connect with us


Rejuvenated Liverpool favourites to win 2023/24 Europa League

We look at the current favourites to win the 2023/24 Europa League with Premier League giants Liverpool and Brighton among those tipped for glory.

jurgen klopp liverpool 2020

The Europa League, often deemed Europe’s secondary club competition, has a storied history filled with a plethora of captivating encounters over the years.

Entering the 2023/24 season, the early favourites, with three previous triumphs, are Liverpool. Their top-of-the-group performance places them ahead, closely trailed by last season’s runners-up, Roma, the German league leaders Bayer Leverkusen, and the reigning Conference League champions, West Ham.

For the English teams, Brighton and Hove Albion faced a challenging draw in their inaugural European campaign. Placed in Group B alongside Ajax and Marseille, both participants in the previous season’s Champions League, and Greek side AEK Athens, they navigated skillfully, securing qualification with a game to spare.

West Ham, aiming to capitalize on their Conference League success from the previous term, etched a new English record by remaining undefeated in major European competitions, extending their streak to 17 matches after two victories in the initial encounters.

Liverpool harbour ambitions of claiming the title for the fourth time, encompassing their UEFA Cup victories, following their triumphant finish atop their group.

Comprehensively, here are the four early favourites to win the Europa League


Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, boasts an extensive list of accomplishments with the club, paralleled by a considerable portion of his first-team roster. From the Champions League to the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Charity Shield, they’ve conquered it all.

Interestingly, the elusive prize in Klopp’s impressive collection remains the Europa League, the only competition where he faced defeat in the 2016 final. Klopp’s resilience shone through as he rallied his team in a spirited post-final speech in Basel, emphasizing that this setback was merely a prelude to more finals and a new beginning.

Klopp’s foresight proved accurate, with Liverpool subsequently reaching three Champions League finals within a span of four years, from 2018 to 2022.

Despite Liverpool’s consistent qualification for the Champions League over the past six years under Klopp’s guidance, a challenging campaign in the previous season led to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League. This downturn in form resulted in their exclusion from Europe’s premier club competition, forcing them into the Europa League for the current season. Despite this disappointment, fans were still keen to buy Europa League tickets and show support for Liverpool in the competition.

Identifying an ageing midfield as the primary culprit for their previous season’s setbacks, the Merseyside club embarked on a substantial overhaul of their engine room this summer.

In a strategic reshaping, Liverpool acquired the talents of Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Ryan Gravenberch, simultaneously parting ways with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, and Fabinho.

This astute manoeuvring in the transfer market has translated into a promising start for Liverpool in the current Premier League campaign, where they find themselves at the summit of the league standings. The revamped midfield, a product of their successful transfer window, positions Liverpool for a resurgent season, poised to contend across various competitions. The anticipation is palpable that Liverpool will swiftly bounce back and assert their presence on all fronts in the upcoming challenges.

Following an almost flawless group stage performance, Liverpool emerge as one of the powerhouses in the Europa League, even accounting for teams relegated from the Champions League.

Their pinnacle first-place finish strategically positioned them to sidestep the knockout round, propelling directly into the round of 16. Notably, Liverpool played two games less than their counterparts, minimizing the risk of an early exit and enhancing their prospects.

Presently leading the Premier League, the Reds stand as a formidable force, fueled by a determination to compensate for a season devoid of Champions League football. Despite potential injury concerns and limited depth in certain key positions, they presently stand as the best-placed team to win the competition.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton, esteemed as a prominent Premier League side, garnered considerable favour ahead of the tournament and continues to maintain a reputation as one of the standout teams in the competition.

Yet, their lack of prior European experience does not reflect in this inaugural journey, as they finished top of their group that consisted of European heavyweights such as Olympique Marseille and AFC Ajax. Despite their initial uncertainties, particularly concerning their ability to navigate the group stage, Brighton remain a team to watch as they navigate uncharted territory in European competitions.

Several other impressive teams in the Europa League could prove perfectly capable of dispatching this Seagulls side, but yet Roberto De Zerbi keeps proving that style of play oftentimes precedes the quality of opponents.

Their free-flowing, swashbuckling, high-scoring, possession-based football is a joy to watch and they are not to be overlooked. It takes a high level of defensive discipline and the ability to limit space to stop this Brighton team. But one thing that might be their Achilles heel is experience in the competition.

However, the club’s hierarchy were wise in their recruitment last summer by adding James Milner, an experienced player who has played and won multiple European and domestic trophies. He will play a key inspirational role to the Seagulls both on and off the pitch in their quest for their maiden European trophy.

West Ham

West Ham’s start in this season’s Europa League campaign commenced with resounding success, as they claimed the top spot in their group. A decisive victory over Freiburg on the final day solidified their position at the pinnacle, marking a commendable start to their venture into the knockout stages.

David Moyes’ side, having reached the Europa League semi-finals two seasons ago where they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt, will look to make amends this time by reaching the summit of the competition. The team might not look fanciful on paper, but what they possess is a collective unit of players who work their socks off from the first second of the match until the final whistle is blown. They might not also play heavy-possession football, but they know how to hold their fort and thwart opponent chances while also creating their own with exceptional finishers like Mohammed Kudus and Jarred Bowen upfront.*

Despite many fearing the Hammers would be affected by the loss of former captain, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse has stepped up elegantly in his place, and could once again be the cog in West Ham’s midfield as they embark on successive European trophies.

Bayer Leverkusen

The current leaders in the Bundesliga, maintaining an undefeated streak across all competitions, have witnessed a rapid surge of form over the years, a testament to their enviable performance that leaves even the biggest clubs envious.

Xabi Alonso’s managerial prowess is garnering widespread acclaim, evident in the team’s stellar performances that propelled them to top their group with a flawless record. Their remarkable run not only secured group supremacy but also exempted them from the dreaded knockout round, affording valuable rest as they observe the remainder vying for a spot in the round of 16.

In terms of form, they unequivocally stand as the pinnacle in the tournament, possibly even extending this claim to the entirety of Europe. While acknowledging that form doesn’t guarantee everything, envisioning their presence in the final appears a plausible and not-too-distant prospect.

Beautiful brand of football, consistent goal scorers, squad depth, and quality players, are all embodiments of this Leverkusen team. While many may have assumed they will drop their red-hot form after a few weeks, Xabi Alonso’s side are still high-flying and will carry on their form into the Europa League as worthy challengers.

Conclusively, Real Betis, propelled by the outstanding form of Isco, emerge as strong contenders in the Europa League, while Roma, driven by a desire to surpass their near miss in the previous edition, aim for a triumphant campaign.

The dismissal of Jose Mourinho, renowned for European competition success, adds an element of uncertainty to Roma’s standing among the favourites. With new head coach Daniele De Rossi at the helm, guiding the Giallorossi to the Europa League final could mark a significant statement and usher in a new era at the Stadio Olimpico.

Beyond the frontrunners, dark horse contenders include Villarreal, Atalanta, Feyenoord, Olympique de Marseille, AC Milan, Benfica, and Sporting Lisbon, each harbouring the potential to disrupt the anticipated narrative of the competition. The varied mix of seasoned contenders and emerging forces adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding dynamics of the Europa League.

Home » Features » Rejuvenated Liverpool favourites to win 2023/24 Europa League

Other News

More in Features