A number of top European sides will be contending for the Europa League trophy this season, and the competition has even gotten intense with some top teams dropping from the Champions League to play in the Europa League.
Chelsea, Arsenal and AC Milan are among the European heavyweights in this competition, and they have been joined by Inter Milan and Napoli after their exit from the Champions League.
Chelsea topped their group in the Europa League with ease, and the Blues will face Swedish side Malmo in the round of 16.
Calcioland podcast producer and co-host Alex Goldberg, rates Chelsea and Napoli as the favourites for the trophy.
“I would say [Chelsea and Napoli are] the two best teams in the competition,” he told the Calcioland podcast.
“Now, of course, all of this analysis I’m about to give is based on Eden Hazard being at Chelsea past the January transfer window and then, of course, for Napoli [Kalidou] Koulibaly would have to be there as well.
“So, assuming both of those players are there, those are the two best teams in the competition, I’m very sure of it.
“It also is just ironic because, as you mentioned, the ties between Napoli and Chelsea right now. But, other teams that I give a shot in terms of at least looking at the landscape, seeing the draw – of course Napoli have Zurich and Chelsea have Malmo as their first opponent in the knockout phase so you’d like to think Napoli and Chelsea will handle those opponents fine, especially since I think both teams are gonna be taking the Europa League more seriously this year.
Goldberg sees Arsenal as a threat but doesn’t think the Gunners have what it takes it to beat Napoli and Chelsea.
He continued: “But then you’ve gotta look at an Arsenal, who are pretty good this year.
“They have a new manager as well, Unai Emery, and I’ve gotta be honest, I think he had a much tougher task than some people may have realised when he got that job.
“And I think he’s been pretty good. They’re definitely an electric team, I wouldn’t say they necessarily have a foundation that a Chelsea does, or a Napoli does in terms of their structure and there’s not as much solidity, but Arsenal can be potent with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and [Alexandre] Lacazette and Mesut Ozil, they can be potent. They certainly can.
“So if you catch them on a good day, you really could be burned. So Arsenal I’ll definitely throw at least into the conversation.”