The Champions League is the epitome of club football, it is the material of dreams. On the other hand, The Europa League is almost a glorified Champions League qualifier. It’s so unimportant and ignored that only the final is available for Americans on TV.
The Europa League Is Serious This Year
The Dark Horses
Somehow, this year, The Europa League is shaping up to be quite the fearsome competition.
Shock upsets in The Champions League have ‘relegated’ quite a few strong teams into this secondary competition.
Furthermore, certain teams have substantially improved over the summer and even though they were placed in the Europa League because of their results last season, they are now able to compete at a higher level.
Last year Ajax pulled off a miracle.
They proved to the world that they can compete with the big dogs, even if they aren’t on a level playing field financially.
This year Ajax were drawn into one of the toughest groups – they would have to play Valencia, Lille and Chelsea.
Ajax ended their Champions League run with a 1 – 0 loss to Valencia, to the dismay of their supporters.
This defeat knocked them into the third spot into the group and into the Europa League.
Ajax will be hoping for the silverware and a spot in next year’s tournament.
They will be hungry to win and not fade into their small league’s obscurity.
Ajax are not the only potent team coming from a small league.
FC Salzburg and their wonder-kid, Haaland will be hoping to make their mark.
Salzburg had a very strong run, still being up for qualification on the last day. They lost to titleholders, Liverpool, and are now ready to tear up the pitch in the Europa League.
Salzburg are known for their red-hot attack and they will be ready to unleash it.
Borussia Mönchengladbach came out of nowhere.
Last year the Bundesliga finished with Bayern as champions, and Borrusia were just an afterthought, they were a full twenty-three points behind the winners.
However, this year, they have quite literally turned the tables. Borussia are ahead of Bayern by seven points.
They were put into the Europa League based on their performances last season, but based on how things are going now, they are one of the best in Europe.
Inter got put into the ‘Group of Death’ in the Champions League draw and were knocked out by tough competition.
The Red Devils and the Gunners, on the other hand, did not live up to their names with average seasons last year, but they are starting to turn around, back towards their winning ways.
All three of these giant clubs are participating in the Europa League this year and will prove tough competition for any opponent.
From ‘dark horses’ to ‘fallen giants’ all types of tough competition will be playing in this year’s Europa League.
This might mark a new beginning for the competition, as in the past it has always meant little.
The knockouts will soon begin and all these teams will be ready to get to the pitch.
With such tight competition, The Europa League might be worth watching this year.