The 2020-21 European international football competitions got underway last week, with the Champions League getting the lion’s share of attention as it usually does.
The second-tier competition, the UEFA Europa League, doesn’t tend to get as much press as its big brother, but features tons of the continent’s top clubs in a huge battle for European glory.
So, what teams are in a position to walk away from this year’s Europa League as Champions? Here are the top three contenders.
Tottenham, a fixture in the Champions League over the past several seasons, is in a prime position to compete for the UEFA Europa League title this season after a disappointing 19-20.
Jose Mourinho has a roster with some of the best talents in the continent, including a deadly attack consisting of striker Harry Kane, winger Heung-min Son, and attacking midfielder Dele Alli. Add in interesting additions like Gareth Bale and defensive help from players like new addition Sergio Reguilon, and Mourinho’s side is beginning to take on the look of a contender.
Whether all of the new pieces fit together well will determine their ultimate fate, but Spurs’ roster should have them in the competition until the end.
AC Milan has had a rough spell of it recently, but the squad continues to improve and they could take a big step by competing for Europa League glory this season.
The attack certainly isn’t the problem, as the ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic has combined brilliantly in a team featuring tons of young attacking talent. Gianluigi Donnarumma has stayed loyal to his club despite recent turmoil, providing them with one of the world’s top goalkeepers in net.
The key to this team’s success will be if its defense is able to turn a corner and keep games manageable. If they are able to do so, we might see AC Milan lift a European trophy for the first time since the days of Kaka, Pirlo, and company.
It might surprise you to see Spanish side Real Sociedad here, but Imanol Alguacil’s team has a real shot to end up in the finals of the competition this season.
Real Sociedad is in first place in La Liga, and it’s easy to see why. David Silva, recently added to the team from Manchester City, has joined up with an exciting young attack with players such as Spanish international Mikel Oyarzabal and Swedish international Alexander Isak.
La Real is a deep, talented size who will surprise many that have never seen them play before. Could they become a dark horse champion?