It was heartbreak for Roma last term in the Europa League, just missing out on successive trophies in European competition.
There’s hope that Jose Mourinho can take his tally of European trophies to six, but what are the bookies making of their chances?
It’s a strong competition this season, with plenty already showing their hand with big wins and strong starts to the season. Roma are one of those sides, but if it were a poker game, there’s every chance the likes of Liverpool, Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta could be carrying the aces.
Then, to continue the poker variants theme, there could be a joker in the pack in terms of the Champions League dropouts.
Of course, the Europa League isn’t something played out on Casino Netherlands and the like, it’s played on the pitch. Which is perhaps more unpredictable than any game of cards.
That said, there are clear contenders, so we take a look at Roma’s chances and the bookies favourites…
It’s been a mixed start in Serie A so far for Roma, with the side sitting 10th in the table, with just three wins in eight. Those wins have largely been emphatic though and goals have been flowing, especially in the Europa League, with a 2-0 win over Slavia Prague the last time out.
It’s been two wins out of two in the competition so far, and Mourinho’s men are certainly one of the teams to beat, perhaps even the team given their experience in European competition in recent years.
The bookies have them as second favourites at 10/1, and a latter stage run is at least to be expected. The Rome outfit certainly has every chance.
As it stands, Liverpool pose the biggest threat to Roma. The Reds had a poor season last term but have started well and also have a 100% record in the Europa League, as well as picking up five wins from eight in the Premier League.
They’ve signed well in the summer and Darwin Nunez is finding his groove for the club. Favourites for the Europa League at 11/4 with most bookmakers, they’ll certainly be a team to avoid until those very latter stages.
Former Liverpool player Xabi Alonso has worked wonders with the German outfit, with them currently top of the Bundesliga with an unbeaten start to the campaign.
That applies to the Europa League too, with victories over Molde and BK Hacken. There’s already rumours around Alonso being snapped up by Liverpool or Real Madrid in the coming years, and Leverkusen could well be one of the more exciting teams to watch across the season.
Victor Boniface is proving an excellent signing from Union SG, netting nine in his first 10 games and will be instrumental in overcoming their 10/1 odds to claim their first European trophy since 1988.
Ultimately, the Champions League third placed teams are likely to be best placed to win the Europa League, but currently in the competition English side West Ham have an outside shot at going all the way after their Conference League win last season. They’re priced at 16/1 to win the competition, just behind Atalanta, both of whom have had the perfect start to the competition.
Villarreal offer Spain the best chance of success at present at 20/1, and despite a poor start to the competition, picking up just a point, Brighton are priced at around 12/1 with most bookies.
Of course, there’s a long way to go, and even the next matchday could change things, but Roma fans can be optimistic about another long run in the competition and an opportunity to claim their second major European trophy.