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Manchester United Favored to Win Europa League

Manchester United is favored for 2021 Europa League Odds

Europe’s second-most prestigious club tournament, the Europa League, concludes this week with the final between English powerhouse Manchester United and Spain’s Villareal. Will the might and skill of Manchester United prevail over the underdog? We take a look with a detailed breakdown of the Europa League odds.

According to BetOnline’s Europa League odds, Manchester United is the comfortable favorite to lift the trophy at odds of -260, while Villareal is currently at +200.

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Odds to win Europa League
Manchester United-260

Odds as of May 24 at Bovada

Route to the Final

Villareal first went through Group I without losing to start off this tournament. That run included a 5-3 win against Sivasspor and a 4-0 victory against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

It then won its next seven games in the Europa League: a combined aggregate win of 4-1 against Salzburg, a combined aggregate win of 4-0 against Dynamo Kyiv, an aggregate win of 3-1 against Dinamo Zagreb. Finally, in the semi-finals, Villareal beat Arsenal 2-1 in the first leg before a goalless draw in the second leg secured its spot in the final.

Manchester United didn’t have to play in the group stage having been transferred from the Champions League. It started the Round of 32 with a 4-0 win against Real Sociedad before beating AC Milan 2-1 in the Round of 16. A flawless defensive performance ensued as Manchester United beat Granada 4-0 in the quarters.

In the semis, Manchester United turned on its offensive power to thrash Roma with a combined aggregate of 8-5. The second leg was won by Roma 3-2 but a 6-2 win in the first leg ensured there were no hassles in Manchester United’s road to the final.

Favorites to Win the Europa League

Manchester United (-260) is a heavy favorite to lift the trophy based on the current Europa League odds. It has just completed a solid campaign back in the Premier League, finishing second in the table behind only its noisy neighbours. Before its players embark for the Euro tournament, there is the small matter of European glory to play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United has found both offensive and defensive fluency in this tournament already, displaying its versatility in putting away a slow-paced team in Granada in the quarters before an offensive masterclass helped beat fast-paced Roma in the semis. In total, Manchester United is averaging 12.25 attempts on goal in this tournament. Of the total 98 attempts on goal, 40 have been on target from Manchester United.

In contrast, Villareal (+200) has managed an average of 11 attempts on goal per game. There is a substantial difference between the pace of both these teams, which Manchester United is well positioned to capitalize on. Even though these Europa League odds are compelling, I’d stay away from Villareal to lift the trophy. "We are up against the side who, I think, have been title favourites since they switched from the Champions League,” Dani Parejo said about this game. “Manchester United are a great team with top players, especially in attack.”

Manchester United may or may not with in 90 minutes. That becomes additionally tricky because of the chance of a late goal forcing a draw and extra time. If you’re opting for match winner, the least risky option is to back Manchester United to win the trophy at the end of the night. Even though that reduces your return on investment significantly, it also lowers your risk position.

Betting Tip 1: Manchester United to Lift the Trophy (-260)
Manchester United’s implied probability to lift the trophy, according to Odds Shark’s calculator, is 72.22 percent.

How Will the Teams Stack Up?

For Villareal, Gerónimo Rulli is expected to start at goal ahead of Sergio Asenjo despite there being some concerns around his match fitness. Both Gerard Moreno and Paco Alacer have scored six goals in this tournament, which should result in manager Unai Emery sticking to that tested striking combination. Alacer has played 476 minutes across nine appearances in the Europa League this season.

For Manchester United, Harry Maguire is expected to be discernible by his absence in this final. As a result, it could be Victor Lindelöf and Eric Bailly in a central position from a defensive perspective with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on either flank. Marcus Rashford is also expected to start ahead of Mason Greenwood along with Edison Cavani as the solitary striker.

The Moneyline Market

Odds for Europa League Final in 90 minutes
Manchester United-115

Odds as of May 24 at Bovada

Here is some technical analysis to help you with your betting for the Europa League final.

Villareal (+355) is a methodical team while moving through phases. Villareal finished seventh in the La Liga with 60 goals scored and 44 conceded in 38 games. Even though it found some offensive depth in the Spanish league, Manchester United (-115) is a different beast. The first aspect would be whether Villareal can score? I can’t answer that question with any degree of certainty, which should imply that betting on Villareal or draw will be tricky in 90 minutes. Europa League predictions are never straightforward but there is a sense that Manchester United is too strong on paper.

Manchester United, with its depth that includes a fantastic offensive core, should have enough in the final third to score at least one goal in 90 minutes. Just based on mathematics and probability, a higher level of certainty about Manchester United scoring and Villareal not is a fair indicator that this should be decided in 90 minutes. And plausibly in Manchester United’s favor. Even though the Europa League odds are shorter, it’s worth backing the favorite in this game.

There is plenty of confidence in the Manchester United camp as well. “We're so close to being a team that can compete and win trophies every single season,” Rashford said. “Maybe winning this title, this Europa League, can give us that little push that we need."

Betting tip 2: Manchester United to win in 90 minutes (-115)
The implied probability of this outcome, according to Odds Shark’s calculator, is 53.49 percent.

Goals: Over/Under

Odds for Total Goals to be Scored
Over 2.5 goals-115
Under 2.5 goals-105

Odds as of May 24 at Bovada

Betting Strategy

Both Manchester United and Villareal had an identical pass completion percentage in this season’s Europa League (86%). Villareal completed 6,044 passes out of 7,043 attempted passes with an average ball possession of 53%. Manchester United completed 3,543 passes out of 4,101 attempted passes with an average ball possession of 54%. This shows us that both teams prefer a compact middle third, with the ball moving around concertedly as opposed to a high press.

From a goal-scoring standpoint, Manchester United has managed just a bit more than Villareal. Manchester United has scored an average of 2.25 goals per game and conceded 0.75 per game. This includes a 6-2 win against Roma. That goal average per game, both scored and conceded, is exactly 3.

Villareal has scored 1.93 goals per game and conceded 0.57 per game. Its goal average, in this Europa League, is exactly 2.5 per game.

There isn’t much doubt that Manchester United will retain the majority of the ball. Being the more attacking team, the probability is that Manchester United will dictate the pace of the game. Still, the quicker-paced team is averaging three goals a game in this competition. Even if Villareal score, which seems unlikely at this stage, under 2.5 goals at Europa League odds of -105 is too compelling to ignore.

Betting tip 3: Total goals to be under 2.5 (-105)
The implied probability of this outcome, according to Odds Shark’s calculator, is 51.22 percent.

Key Quotes From the Managers and Players

"It's going to be special. You've got to be proud to be able to lead a Manchester United team out to a final. It's been a fantastic journey and, as we say in Norwegian, veien er målet (the goal is the journey). This is just a step on the road to bringing our Man. United back."
 - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"We deserve to play this final and we will put on our best performance and show we want to fight against Manchester United for this title."
 - Villareal coach Unai Emery

"This is the culmination of many seasons of hard work and huge sacrifice, of leaving home at a young age, of missing many things with my friends. All this hard work would be worth it if we win a trophy with Villarreal, the team I love."
- Villareal midfielder Manu Trigueros