Taking place every year, the UEFA Europa Conference League is a competition in which top European football clubs take part, organised by the Union of European Football Associations. Our betting guide below has everything you need to know, including the best betting sites, our expert predictions, and more!
- Champions League Fixtures & Results
- What Is the Europa Conference League?
- UEFA Europa Conference League Format
- Upcoming Europa Conference League Fixtures
- Best Betting Sites We Recommend for Europa Conference League
- A Look at the Europa Conference League Teams
- Past UEFA Europa Conference League Winners and Runners-Up
- Europa Conference League Outright Predictions
- UEFA Europa Conference League Odds (Outright)
- How and Which Leagues Qualify for the Europa Conference League?
- Europa Conference League Important Dates for 2022/23
- Interesting Europa Conference League Stats
- 5 Reasons to Watch & Bet on the Europa Conference League
- Popular Europa Conference League Betting Markets
- UEFA Europa Conference League Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
Champions League Fixtures & Results
West Ham United
What Is the Europa Conference League?
The European Conference League is the third European club competition below the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. Its second season will run from the 8th September 2022 to the 7th June 2023.
As the lower league of the Europa League, this tournament allows for competition between European teams from lower-ranked UEFA member associations. In 2022, it will allow 177 teams to participate for international glory.
The winners will not only be crowned champions of the UEFA Conference League, but will also automatically qualify to the 2023-24 Europa League (unless they manage to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, thus skipping this promotion). The European Conference League therefore creates an expanded, integrated set of tiers for which clubs can progress.
Before the inaugural 2022/23 season, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin explained: “The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.”
It’s an idea with a great deal of merit. Consider, for instance, that no team outside of England, Spain or Germany has won the Champions League or Europa League/UEFA Cup since 2011.
The Europa Conference League has being organised with the view to enhance inclusivity and give teams that are usually financially outmuscled the opportunity to compete at an international level.
From the perspective of the competing teams, it’s a chance at global recognition, a way to gain experience against a broader variety of competition, and a source of additional revenue which can further strengthen lesser-known teams. We hope that all these factors will eventually lead to a higher quality set of European clubs at all levels.
Looking at it purely from a fan’s point of view, it means an additional exciting tournament which throws together new and interesting matches from a broader pool of teams. Increased competition and quality can also lead to a higher standard of football. As far as bettors are concerned, it’s also a fantastic opportunity, as unique matchups always make for equally special football betting opportunities.
UEFA Europa Conference League Format
A total of 177 Europa Conference League teams from 55 UEFA member associations (countries) participated in the qualifying rounds to try and book their place in the final competition. No teams were able to secure an automatic spot in the group stage via their domestic league.
The group stage consists of 32 teams that will come through one of the following three routes:
- 17 teams from the Europa Conference League main path (featuring clubs from smaller leagues that didn’t win their domestic league title);
- Five teams from the Europa Conference League champions path (featuring league champions that were knocked out of Champions League or Europa League qualifiers);
- 10 teams eliminated from the UEFA Europa League playoffs.
These teams were split into eight groups of four teams, with the eight group winners progressing directly to the last 16. The eight runners-up and eight Europa League third-placed teams will compete in an additional round against each other – the knockout round playoffs – to determine which eight Europa Conference League teams will join the group winners in the round of 16. The last 16 round will then be followed by the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the Europa Conference League final.
Speaking of which, the latter will take place at the 20,800-capacity Fortuna Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on the 7th June 2023.
Upcoming Europa Conference League Fixtures
Before our round of 16 Europa Conference League fixtures can be finalised, we must first make our way through the knockout round play-offs. This sees the runners up from the group stages of the Europa Conference League and the third-placed Europa League teams compete for the last places in the round of 16.
These Europa Conference League fixtures will take place across two legs in 2023. For each fixture, the first legs will be played on the 16th February, with the second leg taking place on the 23rd February. The following have been set:
- Qarabağ vs Gent:
- Trabzonspor vs Basel
- Lazio vs CFR Cluj
- Bodø/Glimt vs Lech Poznań
- Braga vs Fiorentina
- AEK Larnaca vs Dnipro- 1
- Sheriff Tiraspol vs Partizan
- Ludogorets Razgrad vs Anderlecht
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A Look at the Europa Conference League Teams
There are 24 teams still in with the chance of becoming Europa Conference League champions. Below, we’re going to break down who is left and how they got here.
Straight Through To the Round of 16
- Group A Winner: İstanbul Başakşehir
Istanbul Başakşehir made it through to the round of 16 via the grace of the goal difference. The Turkish side now have the opportunity to again prove themselves on an international stage, having previously impressed in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Worth a mention too is their 3-0 victory over group A favourites Fiorentina, for anyone doubting their ability to take it to big European teams.
Ground B Winner: West Ham United
England’s only chance of Europa Conference League glory lay at the feet of The Hammers. While that may seem like a tall order, they have breezed through to the last 16 with 16 points following a historic clean sweep of Group B, which they finalised with an emphatic 3-0 victory over FCSB.
Group C Winner: Villarreal
At the start of the Europa Conference League group stages, we picked Italy’s Villarreal as our pick to win the whole thing. Did they live up to our expectations? Not quite, but nearly. A duo of wins opposite Austria Vienna, including a 5-0 spectacular, appeared to confirm their dominance. However, a draw against Be’er Sheva saw some chinks in their armour before a 3-0 loss to Lech finally handed them some humility. Still, 13 points was enough for them to jump straight to the round of 16.
Ground D Winner: Nice
It has been a rockier road to the round of 16 for France’s Nice, who overcame Partizan to advance with 9 points in Group D overall. Although it's the lowest number to directly qualify to the round of 16, don’t be fooled - Nice are no underdogs, having survived a tough group and with plenty of international pedigree.
Group E Winner: AZ
Alkmaar Zaanstreek - simply known as AZ to many Dutch fans - did not have the comfortable ride to the top of Group E that their strong 15 points position might suggest. Most games posed a serious challenge, not just their 1-0 loss to Apollon. Nonetheless, they persevered, and that toughness and consistency (they also scored 18 goals in the qualifiers) makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Group F Winner: Djurgårdens IF
It’s been an astonishing few years for Swedish side Djurgårdens IF, having won the Svenska Cupen in 2018 and the Allsvenskan in 2019. Their attempts to take their domestic success international has thus far looked promising, dominating Group F without a single loss and trouncing nearest rivals Gent 16 points to 8 to take the top spot.
Group G Winner: Sivasspor
Another Turkish team who has scraped and clawed their way to the round of 16 are Sivasspor. Their battle with CFR Cluj for the top spot was riveting, with only a point between them. Ultimately, it was Sivasspor’s 3-0 victory over their Romanian rivals which swung it for them, taking them to the top of Group G.
Group H Winner: Slovan Bratislava
It was a two-horse race in Group H for that top spot and immediate advancement to the round of 16 between Slovan Bratislava and group favourites Basel. But the only club from Slovakia to win a European tournament persevered, with their 2-1 victory over Žalgiris finally taking them over the top to make it through with 11 points.
To the Knockout Play-Offs via Europa Conference League Group Stage
- Group A runner-up: Fiorentina
Most people expected Fiorentina to go straight to the round of 16, but İstanbul Başakşehir had other plans. Nonetheless, this legendary Italian club has all the quality needed to be a major player in this tournament and win their first international prize since the Anglo Italian League Cup of 1975. However, they’ll need to pull their pieces together fast, or Braga will surely end that dream.
Group B Runner-Up: Anderlecht
Another incredibly tough to predict, evenly matched knockout play-off contest will take place featuring Ludogorets Razgrad and Belgium’s Anderlecht. Both have showcased immense stopping power, but seesaw performances are what's making things so uncertain. Anderlecht’s more straightforward path through the knockout stages was blocked by the runaway train of West Ham momentum on two occasions, but they still managed to shine against FCSB and Silkeborg. Their round of 16 chances remain solid.
Group C Runner-Up Lech Poznań
If you’re looking for an underdog team to defy expectations, then Lech Poznań are well worthy of your consideration. They were more than capable of making it straight through to the round of 16 were they not given the misfortune of being placed in Group C alongside Villareal. And even that European juggernaut felt their sting, losing their last group stage match 3-0 to these Polish wildcards. Their chances against Glimt look good too, meaning they could be a surprise force to be reckoned with all along this tournament.
Group D Runner-Up: Partizan
A duo of victories over FC Köln almost saw Partizan escape an exceptionally competitive Europa Conference League Group D with top qualification, but head-to-head points with Nice are pitting a Moldovan challenge in their way first. Considering their group featured two top contenders to win the whole tournament in Nice and FC Köln, the Serbian squad have already defied expectations. We could easily see them do so again against an inconsistent Sheriff Tiraspol.
Group E Runner-Up: Dnipro- 1
Facing Larnaca will be another Ukranian side, Dnipro-1, who have proven themselves tough customers in Group E of the Europa Conference League, toppling both Apollon and Vaduz to get this second chance of international glory. They have come back from controversary and enter this tournament in the most extraordinary of circumstances, so we’d say anything is possible.
Group F Runner-Up: Gent
The reliability for which Gent are known for in Belgium faltered a little in the face of international excellence and the stunning form of Djurgårdens IF. But they are not to be taken lightly, considering the 4-0 victory over Molde. In fact, we would consider them slight favourites in their date with destiny against Qarabağ.
Group G Runner-Up: CFR Cluj
We wouldn’t count CFR Cluj out the European Conference League race just yet. This is a tournament of surprises in which they performed admirably across the group stages, missing out on the Group G advancement to the round of 16 by a single point and besting best Slavia Prague and FC Ballkani along the way. They are underdogs for sure, but one with plenty of bite left.
Group H Runner-Up: Basel
In another close call landing into the knockout play-off round, Swiss team Basel found themselves drawn on overall points with Slovan Bratislava but lost through head-to-head stats. Still, they finished well, besting Pyunik 2-3 and showing plenty of promise in this competition so far despite disappointment. We’d put their chances against Trabzonspor as close to evens in what could be the pick of the play-offs.
To the Knockout Play-Offs via Europa League Group Stage
- Group A Third Place: Bodø/Glimt
There wasn’t much chance of Bodø/Glimt shocking the world in Group A of the Europa League, so dominated as it was by PSV Eindhoven and Arsenal. Nonetheless, this Norwegian side bested Zürich and earned the right to try for international recognition once more. Stranger things have happened, especially considering Bodø/Glimt’s entertaining 2-1 victory over Zurich and the fortitude shown in their 1-0 loss to Arsenal.
Group B Third Place: AEK Larnaca
In truth, AEK Larnaca didn’t have the most prestigious path to the knock out play-offs, having only beaten Dynamo Kyiv to finish third in Group B of the Europa League. Even so, two draws against tough sides imply that the Cypriot side aren’t toppled easily, and could prove a nightmare when dragging their opponents out across two legs.
Group C Third Place: Ludogorets Razgrad
For a moment, it looks like Ludogorets Razgrad had really done it. They were a goal up just before half time against heavy favourites AS Roma in their final game of the group stage. However, AS Roma made a stunning comeback, leaving Bulgarian’s Ludogorets Razgrad to fall back to the knock-out stages of the Europa Conference League and a showdown with Anderlecht. However, their last outing and general form shows they are nothing if not resilient.
Group D Third Place: Braga
It’s surprising for us to get this far into any list of teams qualified for the latter stages of an international club tournament without coming across a Portuguese club. Having said that, Braga are a terrific team to represent such a great country for football. They find themselves in the knockout play-off rounds having crashed out of an exceedingly competitive Group D in the Europa League, and are a worthy challenger to the dangerous Fiorentina.
Group E Third Place: Sheriff Tiraspol
Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol may have drawn something of the short straw in Group E of the Europa League, being pitted against both Manchester United and Real Sociedad. Still, that third spot and entry to the Europa Conference league was an opportunity they grabbed with both hands, taking out the unfortunate Omonia twice in succession. They will have a much more evenly matched test of their abilities against Partizan.
Group F Third Place: Lazio
Many were surprised to see Italian giants Lazio drop to the Europa League Conference, but an absurdly competitive Group F (in which all teams drew at 8 points) meant that they fell short due to goal difference. They’ve immediately found themselves among the favourites to win the whole tournament, with CFR Cluj looking to many as unlikely to stand effectively in their way. It would be sweeter for Lazio if they were able to win this competition, as they stand to take the Conference League crown from fierce local rivals Roma.
Group G Third Place: Qarabağ
In the Azerbaijan domestic league, Qarabağ are used to being top dogs. While not quite as assertive in the ultra-competitive international leagues, they did miss out on the Europa League knockout round by a mere point, and will be looking to make up for it here. Their domestic form immediately following that disappointment certainly suggests they are unbowed by the demotion.
Group H Third Place: Trabzonspor
Turkey is still very well represented in this tournament, with Trabzonspor being another strong side capable of going far. They are another team that failed to gain further Europa League qualification by a single point, and a 4-0 win over Monaco showcased their potential. That said, they’ve got quite the challenge on their hands in their knockout round fixture against Basel.
Past UEFA Europa Conference League Winners and Runners-Up
It may still be a new tournament, but looking at past winners can really help contextualise the calibre of teams which make it through to the Conference League final stages. Here’s the history so far:
|2021/22||Roma (1)||Feyenoord (0)|
Europa Conference League Outright Predictions
Although it’s still early days in the UEFA Europa Conference League at the time of writing, there’s already so many awesome betting possibilities coming up. Here are some predictions based on how we think the tournament may go.
Initially, we had Villareal as our pick to win big in this tournament. However, West Ham’s form in the group stages has changed our mind. West Ham have looked unshakable thus far with their clean sweep of Group B. There are doubts, indifferent quality, and a trio of losses in their domestic leagues immediately following the group stages will surely have raised the eyebrows of their potential opponents. But so far in the Europa Conference League itself, no other team has been as consistent, which is why we think it’s West Ham’s year.
In terms of who else we think will do well, both Villareal and Lazio have shown us enough for us to have confidence in them making is through to the latter stages of this tournament. Former favourites Villareal could easily still win the whole thing even taking that 3-0 loss to Lech into account. Meanwhile many are surprised to see Lazio drop to the Europa Conference League, and the Italians look likely to outclass most of the competition with their experience and quality.
We’re optimistic about the chances of overachieving Polish side Lech Poznań. They’ve shown their capabilities against top Europa Conference League teams, having handily defeated Villareal during the group stages and showing plenty of promise more generally in their performances. We think their chances of besting Glimt and making it to further knockout rounds are also very good, and they could make a surprising dent in the competition there. Even better news is that bookmakers don’t appear to have fully realised their capabilities, meaning plenty of Europa Conference League betting market bargains.
There are so many unknown matches and barely tested sides for this competition that some upsets are surely to be afoot. That’s why we’re predicting at least one surprise team to make it through to the quarter-finals. We’re thinking the likes of CFR Cluj or Dnipro-1 as a couple of examples. More broadly, though, this prediction means that we think it could be smart betting strategy to pay particular attention to the longer UEFA Conference League odds during the knockout play-off round.
Despite the Europa League Conference drawing teams from so many different parts of the continent and at different levels, one thing that struck us during our time looking at these groups is how challenging it is pick a winner across the Europa Conference League fixtures. This means that we reckon, in many instances, Europa Conference League draw betting will be a success during the first legs of the knockout play-off round. In fact, we’d go as far as saying we predict an unusually high number of Europa Conference League draw results in this stage of the tournament.
UEFA Europa Conference League Odds (Outright)
Below are the Europa Conference League winner odds available at the time of writing:
|West Ham United||9/1||Betfair|
|Istanbul Basaksehir||22/1||William Hill|
- UEFA Conference League Winner odds are subject to change
How and Which Leagues Qualify for the Europa Conference League?
There are two ways teams can qualify for the Europa Conference League: the Champions Path and the League Path.
The Champions Path is for teams that lost qualification for the Champions League group stage. Thus, they will get a second chance at glory.
For the League Path, each European nation is assigned a number of spots, based on rankings.
- Nations with ranking 1 to 5: one team
- Nations with ranking 6 to 15: two teams
- Nations with ranking 16 to 50 three teams
- Nations with ranking 16 to 50 three teams
- Nations with ranking 51 to 55: two teams
It is worth pointing out that each country will have the same amount of teams qualifying for continental football as they did before the launch of the Conference League. The tournament is essentially a secondary competition for the lower teams of the existing Europa League tournament.
Europa Conference League Important Dates for 2022/23
The qualifying period for the Europa Conference League this year began on the 5th July and concluded on the 25th August. The group stages began on the 8th September 2022 and concluded on the 3rd November. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty more action left to enjoy!
So, with that in mind, here’s the remaining Europa League Conference schedule and key dates you should be aware of:
- Knockout Round Play-Offs: 16th and 23rd February 2023
- Round of 16: 9th and 16th March 2023
- Quarter-Finals: 13th and 20th April 2023
- Semi-Finals: 11th and 18th May 2023
- Europa Conference League Final: 7th June 2023 at the Fortuna Arena, Prague
Interesting Europa Conference League Stats
We may only have the qualifying round to go on so far, but there’s already been plenty of interesting incidents worth factoring into your betting strategy. Here are some statistical highlights of what’s happened in the 2022/23 Europa Conference League thus far:
- 265 goals have been scored.
- That comes out to nearly 2.77 goals per match, with an average of 36 minutes between them.
- Most goals were scored between the 61st and 75th minute of the game.
- Villareal comes out of the group stages with the most goals scored at 14.
- Dovbyk from Dnipro-1 has secured the most goal individually, with 5 scored altogether.
- 96 out of 140 games have been played in the tournament at the end of the group stage, meaning we’re over halfway there.
- The most attempts on goal were delivered by Slavia Praha at 140. It still wasn’t enough to see them any further in the tournament, though.
In addition, here’s some stats from last year’s 2021/22 Europa Conference League tournament (competition proper), to help further illuminate what we might see here:
- 401 goals were scored.
- Nearly 2 million (1,978.850) people attended. That’s an average of 14,135 per match.
- Although Feyenoord did fail to beat Roma in the finals, Cyriel Dessers became top scorer with 10 goals.
- Five different players tied for most assists with 4 in total. These include Copenhagen’s Pep Biel, Vitesse’s Eli Dasa, Roma’s Rick Karsdorp, Feyenoord’s Loui Sinisterra, and Erick Botheim from Fotballklubben Bodø/Glimt.
- The finals at Arena Kombëtare in Tirana attracted an audience of 19,597.
5 Reasons to Watch & Bet on the Europa Conference League
- You'll become more familiar with teams from oft-forgotten leagues. How much do you know about teams in Switzerland, Israel, or Latvia?
- There's plenty of betting value to be found. With the quality of most teams relatively unknown, bookies’ odds won’t be as close to reality as they are in the top competitions. This gives you plenty of opportunity to exploit.
- It’s anyone’s trophy. This is a new competition with an aura of unpredictability, meaning that, unlike the two UEFA competitions above it, anyone could triumph.
- Discover hidden gems scattered around Europe. This tournament will be a golden stage for rising stars to display their talents to a wider audience.
- The winning team goes onto the Europa League: One of the things which makes European club football competition so interesting is how they are intertwined. For instance, the winner of the Europa Conference League goes on to be a Group A seeded team in the Europa League, meaning watching this tournament also has interesting implications elsewhere.
Popular Europa Conference League Betting Markets
With every sports tournament comes plenty of exciting Europa Conference League betting markets. We've listed the most popular for this particular tournament below.
This is a simple wager on which team will win the trophy at the end of the tournament, and will be available throughout the competition until it comes to a conclusion.
Best bookie for Outright Winner: Unibet
With so many games taking place within a short space of time, an ambitious accumulator bet may well be worth a shot. This is comprised of multiple selections that are combined into one bet, giving you greater odds in the process. Look out for accumulator offers – many bookies have started offering acca insurance type bets where your stake is given back to you as a free bet if one selection falls short, as well as acca odds boosts.
Asian Handicap Market
This is especially useful for matches with a stark difference in quality. Using the Asian handicap market, each team can be given a certain number of goal handicaps.
If you’re backing the favourite, you can boost the odds by giving them a minus handicap, meaning they’ll have to win by more than one goal for your bet to be successful. If you flip it on its head, you can back the underdog with a plus handicap, so they’ll have to avoid losing by more than one goal for you to win.
A bet on which player will score the highest number of goals throughout the competition. With so many obscure names taking part, this won’t be an easy market to predict. Looking into the domestic records of the top goalscorer for every team could shed some light on where the value lies, however.
Tip: We recommend using KickForm for football tips, predictions and odds.
UEFA Europa Conference League Betting FAQs
Qualifiers for this season already took place between the 5th July and the 25th August 2022. The competition proper began on the 8th September and will conclude on the 7th June 2023. Scroll up to view a full list of important dates if you want further information.
These Europa Conference League fixtures are split across two legs. The first will be played on 16th February 2023, with the second taking place on the 23rd February 2023.
The final will take place on 7th June 2023 at the Fortuna Arena in Prague.
A total of 16 teams will take part in the knockout play-off games. The 8 winners will then join the 8 already qualified to make the round of 16. A total of 24 teams therefore remain in contention.
The winner will get their hands on the new UECL trophy, alongside prize money worth around £4.25m. They will also be rewarded with a place in the following year’s Europa League group stage, unless they have already qualified for the Champions League.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
The UEFA Conference League is set to give us even more live action to look forward to. While it’s great to see the same giant clubs going toe-to-toe year in year out, we’re looking forward to discovering what Europe’s lower leagues have in store. Punters are always on the lookout for new opportunities to pounce on – and this competition might just be what they’ve been waiting for!