Much speculation still surrounds the future of Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge although the Chelsea boss took charge of the Blues’ first pre-season training session earlier this week and while the West London outfit were expected to have named a new manager at this stage of the close-season, Conte remains as head coach after refusing to quite his role.
Indeed the likelihood is that Chelsea will need to sack Conte should they wish the Italian to leave Stamford Bridge but one imagines that they will be less-than-willing to pay the reported £9million compensation fee which the Italian would be demanding. The Blues have been having talks with Maurizio Sarri although Serie A side Napoli won’t be letting him go without a fight so for the time being at least, it looks as though Conte will be staying put.
All of this has come about thanks to Chelsea’s failure to finish in the Premier League top-four at the end of 2017/18 although they do have Europa League action to look forward. This may be scant reward for their efforts last season but they are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the competition and earn for themselves a place in the following season’s Champions League.
BetVictor Bookmakers go 6/1 that the Blues go all the way in Europe’s second-tier club competition and this firm go the same price on Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Arsenal to lift the trophy. The Gunners have now waved goodbye to long-term manager Arsene Wenger and replacement Unai Emery will be eager to grab some silverware in his first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium.
Sevilla are a distant third in the outright market with the La Liga side 18/1 to win the tournament next season. Sevilla made the competition very much their own between 2013/14 and 2015/16 with three wins during that time under the guidance of new Gunners boss Unai Emery.
Europa League Winner BetVictor Odds
6/1 – Chelsea
6/1 – Arsenal
18/1 – Sevilla
18/1 – Lazio
20/1 – Bayer Leverkusen
20/1 – Marseille
20/1 – RB Leipzig
100/1 – Burnley