After a winning end to the weekend, now is a good time to go back to the outright markets ahead of the international break.
The Europa League outright market isn’t really grabbing my attention too much at this stage. For one thing, the clubs who drop out of the Champions League enter the tournament in the last 32 and last year’s winner, Sevilla, came from that group of teams.
If I was to make a call now I’d got for Athletic Bilbao at a tempting 14/1 but there is value to be found elsewhere.
Manchester United are the current 9/2 favourites to win the competition outright and there’s no denying they’ve comfortably got the strongest squad of all the teams in the group stages, indeed they’d be up there with the favourites for the Champions League if they were dining at Europe’s top table this season.
However, the big question is will manager Jose Mourinho make it a priority or will he treat it like Bastian Schweinsteiger and put the Europa League on the backburner?
Admittedly the winner is granted a place in next season’s Champions League but I doubt Mourinho is contemplating the prospect of missing out on the top four – certainly not at this stage of the season anyway.
United are 1/4 to win Group A but if Mourinho decides the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a few others won’t be involved in the early stages it may not be so straightforward for the Premier League outfit.
I think they will progress, but they might not finish at the top of their group and Fenerbahce at 9/2 are worth the risk to top Group A.
Turkey is rarely an easy trip for any side in Europe to make and Feyenoord and Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk, who complete Group A, should be easy prey for Fener in Istanbul.
United are justifiably favourites but with doubts over what kind of sides Mourinho will field in the Europa League, Fenerbahce at 9/2 look a good bet.