The Europa League has entered the business end this season after the first leg of the various last 32 ties last week Thursday as the favourites tried to build a first leg advantage ahead of the second leg billed to take place on Thursday night.
Chelsea are the defending champions but they are not able to defend the title they won last season by beating London rivals Arsenal in the final.
The Blues are in the Champions League this season as a result of that win plus their third-place finish from the last campaign in the Premier League.
With the Blues out of the competition this season, the stage is set for a new winner to emerge after the latest edition of the competition this summer.
- EPL: Lampard Must Pair This Player With Jorginho For A Guaranteed Midfield Dominance
- Club Legend Lands £7m Summer Signing As Future Arsenal Leader
- Arsenal Finally Approach French Club For £43m Forward
Let’s examine the top three favourites for the Europa League title this term in the absence of holders Chelsea:
1. Inter Milan
Italian giants Inter Milan are one of the top three favourites and that’s partly due to the influence of manager Antonio though the Italian tactician don’t have a very good in Europe.
He would be hoping to correct that notion by leading Inter Milan to their first form of title since they won the Champions League title in 2010. The Nerazzuri are yet to win any trophy for a decade.
Inter Milan have a star-studded squad that could cope with the demands of both Europa League and the Serie A where they are in a three-team battle with Juventus and Lazio for the title.
They have a foot in the last 16 of the Europa League after the 2-0 away win over Ludogorets Razgrad in the first leg of their last 32 tie.
Last season’s finalists are one of the favourites for the competition this season. They won their last 32 first leg via a 1-0 away victory at Olympiacos FC of Greece.
3. Manchester United
2017 champions Manchester United are one of the Europa League favourites this season but they have work to do in their last 32 tie with Club Brugge FC of Belgium. Both teams played 1-1 in the first leg ahead of their clash at Old Trafford on Thursday night.