Europa League odds: Bookies back Dortmund to go all the way as Barcelona draw Napoli

The Europa League draw didn’t suffer from any malfunctions but it certainly provided its fair share of drama as FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund were both handed mouth-watering ties.

Following their early Champions League exit, Barcelona will be gearing up for their first appearance in Europe's second tier club competition since 2004. Back then, the Catalonian giants reached the fourth round before being eliminated by Celtic.

Their return to the Europa League will be marked with a clash against Italian powerhouses, Napoli - a team they last faced, and beat, during the 2019/20 Champions League round-of-16 stage.

However, a lot has changed since then and both teams are on different trajectories. While the Italians are battling for a league title, Barcelona are still floundering outside of the top six in La Liga.

Xavi Hernandez during the match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie, corresponding to the week 16 of the Liga Santander, played at the Camp Nou Stadium, in Barcelona, on 04th December 2021.

Before the draw, Xavi Hernandez and his men were priced as joint-favourites to win the Europa League at around the 6/1 mark. Now, those odds have drifted to around 8/1 as the Spaniards prepare for a huge test against Luciano Spalletti's side.

Borussia Dortmund are now the sole favourites to win their first European crown since 1997.

The German outfit will take on Rangers in the knockout stage - a side they've only beaten once in eight attempts.

The last meeting between the two clubs took place back in 1999 as Dortmund eliminated their Scottish opponents in the round-of-32 of the UEFA Cup.

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos (centre) celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mates Steven Davis (left) and' Joe Aribo during the UEFA Europa League, Group A match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Thursday November 25, 2021.

Rangers aren't the same powerhouse they were in the 90s and their odds certainly reflect that. Following the draw, Dortmund's price of winning the tournament slightly moved from 6/1 to 7/1, while Rangers have significantly drifted from 66s to around 100/1.

Sevilla are another team to watch in the outright betting market. The Spaniards have a rich history in the competition having lifted this trophy a record six times.

Julen Lopetegui's men are currently available at 9/1 - similar odds to Barcelona but still behind favourites Borussia Dortmund. They will take on Dinamo Zagreb on their return to the Europa League. 

Elsewhere, Atalanta are currently priced as the fourth-favourites at around the 9/1 mark. The Italians reached the Champions League knockout stage for three successive years before eventually seeing that run end this season.

The club finished behind Villarreal and Manchester United in their UCL group and as a result, they'll now take on Olympiacos for a place in the Europa League round-of-16 stage.

England's lone survivors in the competition, West Ham United, finished top of their group and have already ensured their place in the last 16. The Irons will discover their opponents in late February but until then, the bookmakers have priced David Moyes' side at around 12/1 to go all the way.

Knockout round play-off draw

Sevilla vs Dinamo Zagreb

Atalanta vs Olympiacos

RB Leipzig vs Real Sociedad

Barcelona vs Napoli

Zenit St Petersburg vs Real Betis

Borussia Dortmund vs Rangers

Sheriff Tiraspol vs Braga

FC Porto vs Lazio

First legs will be played on February 17, while the second legs will be contested a week later on February 24.

The following clubs are group winners and will join the knockout stage in the next round: Lyon, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Eintracht Frankfurt, Galatasaray, Red Star Belgrade, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham.

READ MORE: Newcastle odds-on favourites to be most active Premier League side in the January transfer window

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