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Europa Conference League Outright Tips from James Milton

West Ham lifted the Europa Conference League last season thanks to Jarrod Bowen's late winner against Fiorentina in a dramatic final in Prague, and James Milton is backing another Premier League side to go deep this time around.

Aston Villa, another Premier League team in claret and blue, are bidding to succeed the Hammers as Conference League champions in 2023/24 and Villa boss Unai Emery is no stranger to European success.

Villa look worthy favourites at 4/1 but last term's runners-up Fiorentina are rated serious threats at 7/1 and Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Rangers on penalties in the 2021/22 Europa League final, are 10/1.

James Milton's Europa Conference League Tips:

Aston Villa @ 4/1
AZ @ 14/1
Fenerbahce @ 25/1 

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…

The Europa Conference League was launched in 2021/22 as a third European club competition and Jose Mourinho's Roma were the inaugural winners, beating Feyenoord 1-0 in the final.

Roma had defeated Leicester in the semi-finals but the Premier League provided last season's winners, West Ham, and Aston Villa are expected to go close this term.

Villa boss Unai Emery steered Sevilla to a hat-trick of Europa League crowns between 2014 and 2016, took Arsenal to the final in 2018/19, and lifted the trophy again with Villarreal in 2020/21.

WhatEuropa Conference League
WhereFinal is at the Agia Sophia Stadium, Athens, Greece
WhenWednesday 20th September, 2023 - Wednesday 29th May, 2024 
How to watchTNT Sports
OddsAston Villa 4/1, Fiorentina 7/1, Eintracht Frankfurt 10/1, Lille 12/1, AZ 14/1, Club Brugge 20/1, Genk 20/1, Fenerbahce 25/1

Aston Villa @ 4/1

The strength of the Premier League was demonstrated by West Ham's Conference League campaign last season as they won 14 of 15 ties on their way to the trophy.

Aston Villa look an even better side than the Hammers, having finished seventh in the top flight last season and signed Pau Torres, Moussa Diaby and Youri Tielemans over the summer.

They have lost to Newcastle and Liverpool but thumped Everton and Burnley in their first four league fixtures and Emery, a master of European knockout competitions, has a great opportunity to add another trophy to his CV. 

James Milton's Tip:

Aston Villa won 10 of their last 15 Premier League matches last season, beating Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham and Brighton during that run, and they are unlikely to face opponents of that calibre in the Europa League.

Having thrashed Hibernian 8-0 on aggregate in the playoff round, Villa should have the quality and squad depth to make it to May's final in Athens and emulate West Ham's 2022/23 success.

AZ @ 14/1

Villa may not have to wait long to face one of their main trophy threats as Group E rivals AZ Alkmaar reached the Conference League semi-finals last term and have made a strong start to their domestic season.

With Legia Warsaw and Zrinjski Mostar also in Group E, Villa and AZ should be confident of taking the two qualification spots and the Dutch side are worth supporting to lift the trophy.

They needed penalties to get past Brann in the playoff round but started the Eredivisie campaign with three victories by an aggregate score of 10-2 and have the firepower to go deep in the Conference League again.

James Milton's Tip:

AZ's Conference League dream was ended by a 3-1 aggregate defeat to West Ham in the semis but they had enjoyed an excellent run, beating Lazio in both legs of their last-16 tie.

They will get an early chance to test their mettle in a double-header with Villa on matchdays three and four and Greek striker Vangelis Pavlidis, who has scored five goals in his first three Eredivisie appearances this term, should trouble opposition defences.

Fenerbahce @ 25/1

Fenerbahce impressed in last season's Europa League, topping a group containing Rennes, Dynamo Kiev and AEK Larnaca before losing a tight last-16 tie against eventual winners Sevilla.

They have cruised through Conference League qualifying, winning their first tie 9-0 on aggregate before 6-1 triumphs over Maribor and FC Twente.

There is no shortage of top-level experience after the summer arrivals of Edin Dzeko, Dusan Tadic, Fred and Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, while talented Turkey winger Cengiz Under reached the Conference League semi-finals with Marseille in 2021/22.  

James Milton's Tip:

It took Europa League powerhouses Sevilla to end Fenerbahce's run last season and the Turkish side look a decent price to lift the Conference League this term.

Their squad includes exciting midfielders Sebastian Szymanski and Ryan Kent, as well as former Premier League strikers Michy Batshuayi and Josh King.

Fenerbahce should ease past Group H rivals Ludogorets, Nordsjaelland and Spartak Trnava and they could prove tricky opponents in the knockout stage.

James Milton's Europa Conference League Tips:

Aston Villa @ 4/1
AZ @ 14/1 
Fenerbahce @ 25/1 

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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