Will any of the Champions League dropouts win the Europa League?

Europa League Final

A brief look at all the sides, their odds and outlining their chances of winning UEFA's second competition in Turin in May - who all pose a risk to Tottenham Hotspur's chances of lifting the trophy.

Shakhtar Donetsk – Shakhtar are pretty strong going forward and pretty strong defensively. Man United had a difficult time against them in the Champions League this season, they probably feel they should have got through to the next stage. They’re going to be difficult for any side to face and possess a big threat. Best Price – 16/1

Juventus – Having missed out on the second round of the Champions League due to a late Wesley Sneijder strike, Juve have the chance of winning a European trophy in their own back yard. That should serve as great motivation. Regardless of where the final is held, it would be a surprise if the Italian champions didn’t reach the business end of the competition. Best price – 11/2

Benfica – Last season’s beaten finalists, and they got to Amsterdam in May via the same route after dropping down from the group stages of the Champions League. This is a competition that Portuguese teams have a decent pedigree of late and are always difficult to face on their own patch. Best Price - 20/1

Viktoria Plzen – It’s not often you get a side that drops down from the Champions League and is priced so long to win the thing. Plzen are the rank outsiders out of all those who have dropped down, though they weren’t expected to finish above CSKA Moscow in their group. Maybe their price is a little generous but don’t expect them to have any real impact. Best Price – 125/1

Basel – Last season’s semi-finalists who were knocked out by eventual winners, Chelsea. They have proved in recent seasons that they are a well drilled side who can hurt the best – just ask Chelsea this season, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for them to thrive in the knockout stages of this competition. Best Price 50/1.

Napoli – It’s not often a side gets 12 points, exactly the same as two other teams and fails to qualify for the next stage but that’s what happened with Napoli, so expect them to go far in the knockout stages of the Europa League. They also have two time winner of this competition in Rafa Benitez at the helm, so they have a manager who knows what it takes to the lift the trophy. Best Price 10/1.

Porto – They will have been disappointed to have been knocked out of their group given the low number of points required to get through (Zenit qualified with six points, Porto had five). There is the odd bit of quality in their side, but they look as if they’re outsiders at best. Portuguese pedigree and reputation may have brought their price down a little. Best Price 20/1

AjaxAjax were always going to have their work cut out from qualifying from a group involving Barcelona and Milan (even though several will point out that Milan are poorer this season than they have been for some time). They can trouble the best teams, and their form in the home legs could be the big factor. Best Price 33/1.

image: © nicksarebi

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