Odds of 5/1 make Manchester City the new favourites to win the 2011-12 Europa League after their Champions League elimination was confirmed last night.
As had widely been expected, the Citizens’ hopes of making it past the Champions League group stage were dashed by a 2-0 win by Napoli over Villarreal.
We’re in the Europa League now and I’ve always said that whatever competition we’re in we don’t enter it to come second or to get knocked out in the early stages.
The result rendered City’s 2-0 home success over Bayern Munich at the Etihad entirely academic and denied Roberto Mancini’s men a place in the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition.
Instead of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, City will be up against the likes of PAOK Salonika, Metalist Kharkiv and FC Twente.
However, they are not the only big-name casualty of the Champions League group stage, with a shock 2-1 loss to FC Basel in Switzerland also consigning Manchester United to the Europa League and Thursday nights on Channel Five.
The Red Devils are now second-favourites to win the Europa League at 6/1, putting them well ahead of third-favourites and fellow Champions League outcasts Valencia, who are priced at 12/1.
According to United defender Rio Ferdinand, the club will look at the Europa League as another trophy to win rather than an inconvenience, suggesting a bet on last year’s beaten Champions League finalists to win this season’s Europa League could pay off.
“We’re in the Europa League now and I’ve always said that whatever competition we’re in we don’t enter it to come second or to get knocked out in the early stages,” he told MUTV.
“We’re always in it to win it and this is no different.”
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