DECRYPTION – Everything you need to know about the 2021-22 edition of the C3, which begins this Thursday with the first day of the group stage.
Who are the favorites?
Only one of the last 5 Europa League winners was a 3e of the Champions League group transferred to C3. But these teams are often contenders for the final victory. Leipzig, Porto, AC Milan or Villarreal, title holders, could take this path. As for the clubs starting the group stage, we can think of Naples and Leicester who will face each other in Group C. But also Lazio Rome, Bayer Leverkusen or PSV Eindhoven. Unless Marseille reiterates its epic of the 2017-18 season, falling in the final against Atlético de Madrid (0-3).
What to expect from French clubs?
Olympique Lyonnais has the highest UEFA coefficient of all the clubs involved in the Europa League. He should nevertheless be wary of Glasgow Rangers led by Steven Gerrard and Sparta Prague, quarter-finalists last year. As we have seen at the start of the season, Peter Bosz’s mayonnaise at OL will not take without a little patience. Monaco, eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League play-off, did not have a lenient draw with PSV Eindhoven, also eliminated in the play-off by Benfica, and Real Sociedad. As for OM, Lazio is a scarecrow. But nothing to be ashamed of against Lokomotiv Moscow and Galatasaray. In short, seeing the three French clubs finish in the first two places of their group is not a utopian scenario.
Which players are to watch?
There are of course Monegasques (Tchouaméni, Diop, Ben Yedder), Marseillais (Saliba, Payet, De La Fuente) and Lyonnais (Aouar, Paqueta, Dembélé) who could shine. But also, even especially players outside France. Center forward Ciro Immobile is expected with Lazio, as well as French international Moussa Diaby or prodigious German attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz (18) at Bayer Leverkusen. In West Ham, we will be eyeing the English midfielder Declan Rice, courted by the biggest clubs in the Premier League. Finally, PSV Eindhoven wingers Cody Gakpo (22) and Noni Madueke (19) are promised a great future.
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What’s new ?
We mentioned it when answering the 10 questions on the Champions League: the 3rd in their group in C1 will no longer automatically be transferred to the Europa League. They will face the 2nd of the C3 groups in a round-trip jump-off next February. One way to replace the round of 16. The real difference lies in the fact that the 1st of the C3 groups will be directly qualified for the 8th finals. Another novelty: the 3rd in their group in C3 will face the 2nd in the Europa League Conference groups (C4), again in a two-way jump-off. Model identical to the lower level therefore.
On which channel to watch the Europa League?
Canal + and the M6 group (which also owns the W9 channel) will broadcast each day the best poster of the Europa League and the Europa League Conference combined. The two channels will therefore have to choose a single match that will surely include OM, OL, Monaco (C3) or Rennes (C4). Everything else will be on RMC Sport. All matches will take place on Thursday, usually at 6:45 p.m. or 9:00 p.m.