Europa League Group J
Finishing bottom in this group will be the Austria participants Wolfsberger. They are a team and a club that is probably just happy to be in a European competition. That’s not to say necessarily that they are a bad team or they don’t deserve to be here but getting to this competition has been a struggle. In fact, they’re only in previous involvement in this competition has been at through the qualifying phases. In the global scale, they are not Heavy Hitters and they aren’t even the best team in their own country. Wolfsberger have earned the right to be here though and I’m sure it’s a journey and a victory in itself. Last season Wolfsberger finished fourth in the Austrian League. They have consistently finished around that area domestically. They will find it incredibly difficult but I’m sure they’re looking up for the challenge. They are definitively the weakest team in this group. They may struggle for points altogether. With the likes of Roma Istanbul Başakşehir and Borussia Monchengladbach. It is hard to say what what their biggest what their biggest asset is you can make the argument that they put most their stake into the Europa League even though the chances of them advancing or Slim this is a team that doesn’t have very much European experience and will have to rely on their ability to perform at a high level at home. It’s hard to even identify a star player that could be a difference-maker for the team throughout this competition their need to come together as a king and thrive on the challenges that will lie ahead of them. Michael Lindell scored 12 goals in the league last season that was their highest total it’s not all that encouraging but he will be the most important figure in this journey because if he doesn’t score it’s unclear where the goals would come from.
3. Borussia Monchengladbach
This might be a surprise for a lot of people but I believe Borussia will finish third in this group. The majority will probably have already penciled them in as qualifying for the round of 32 however I don’t think it’s that simple. Obviously, they are playing in the Bundesliga every week and getting challenged to the highest level. This is a club that has done tremendously well in Europe has been somewhat of a regular in European competition they even have won the Europa League back in 1978 when the competition was called the UEFA cup. So they may have the pedigree to suggest that is foolish not to pick them. However, this upcoming season in the Bundesliga will be really important for them to secure a top finish yet again. It will be even more significant because of what they have lost during the summer. I think the difference between Borussia and Istanbul isn’t that different it will be a coin flip for which team will come out on top. The fact of the matter is with the losses they have suffered they aren’t in the position to challenge the Europa League. Thorgan Hazard has left for Dortmund Mickaël Cuisance went to Bayern. Even though there isn’t that much momentum in the Europa League compared to the champions league and a lot of teams can do really well that no one’s expecting. Those key losses will make it incredibly difficult for them to challenge for the trophy. The question I have is if they’re going to be willing to sacrifice a top Bundesliga spot for a run in this competition I don’t think they have the players to do it anyways and I don’t know if it’s worth risking. Don’t get me wrong this team will do everything in their power to qualify for the next round but I just don’t think its a necessity. However, they are not out to dry having Alassane Pléa who was the team’s second-leading scorer last season with 11 goals. it will all revolve around him if he can have a great campaign in Europe they have a chance but again I think they will prioritize the Bundesliga. Going to Germany in this competition will be very difficult and it will be very close in the end but I believe because of the importance in the Bundesliga and how difficult it may be the Europa League will not be their number one priority in the end I think they will give themselves a great chance to go through but I think they come up just a little short.
2. İstanbul Başakşehir
İstanbul Başakşehir is a club that may not be regulars in this competition but over the last several years they have played in the Europa League. This is a team that could be a challenge for all teams in this group. I believe they will fight off Borussia to finish as runners up but realistically I think there is a serious chance they could give Roma a run for the money. I wouldn’t consider them Turkish Giants but they are still heavy hitters in Turkish football they finished 2nd in the league last season. just behind Galatasaray for the title. This club has proven to be able to beat Galatasaray, Beşiktaş Fenerbahçe who have been historically the best teams in turkey they will not be an easy out in this competition. There was also the emotional aspect of this Cengiz Under’s return having played for the club before making his move to Roma 2 years ago. They are a very capable side that will be incredibly tough to beat at home even if they don’t have the better team. Going to Turkey is a challenging experience because of the atmosphere and the passion of the Turkish supporters. No one looks forward to playing European games in turkey those are just the realities of the situation it is a tough atmosphere to adapt to and can be a little hostile. That would be the case for any Turkish team but İstanbul Başakşehir is an incredibly strong team that has the ability to beat any of these teams. I believe this club has more star power then Borussia the reality of the situation is the German club has lost too many pieces and as of this moment İstanbul Başakşehir is the biggest threat to Roma. Regardless you never know what happens this competition but given the way, the team looks and the way they played together this team could be a real threat. Most people are taking the Germans but I just think this Turkish side is much better with a player that I know can be a real threat in this competition. Edin Dzeko’s Bosnian teammate Edin Višća is one of the most lethal Strikers in Turkish football. He will be the X-Factor. It’s not just him though they have other pieces around with the likes of Alexandru Epureanu and Arda Turan this is a team that is capable of being a dark horse in this competition. They have the quality on their side playing in turkey is going to be an issue for everyone who makes that trip if we see a Roma be inconsistent at some point during this competition it is quite possible that in Istanbul could surpass them. I think Roma have a little too much quality for Istanbul to win this group but they certainly have the ability there’s no question with the attacking players that they have they could make things very interesting. Roma’s real threat isn’t in Germany its in Turkey.
1. A.S Roma
Roma going into the Europa League are viewed by the large as one of the favorites. They may not be Undisputed favorites but they are among the teams that are likely to hold this trophy at the end of the season. A large part of that is because of Paulo Fonseca and the type of football he plays and how he is done in competitions like this before. They have all the players required for the most part to win this competition. This club has not won a trophy in a decade this will be their best chance to do it this season. Roma must avoid early inconsistency problems in the group stage. There’s no doubt in my mind that Roma has the personnel to achieve their Ambitions in this competition. Whether or not they will win the Europa League it’s hard to say but they certainly should be one of the favorites and rightly so. This isn’t an easy Group by any stretch of the imagination but it’s not the most difficult. I think the biggest threat they will have is Istanbul they have enough quality to show their superiority and win this group I don’t think that will happen but is it certainly a possibility if Roma doesn’t do their job. Roma still will prioritize Serie A because of their desire and Ambitions to return to the Champions League next season. That is the most important things for a Roma during this campaign but I would put a large stake in the Europa League. Others will not take this competition very seriously and others don’t even want to be here but Roma has a realistic chance to possibly win the Europa League. It will be very difficult but the chance is certainly there. In this group even though it presents a fair amount of challenges I’m confident that Roma will win this group is because of the squad depth that they have put together over the last few weeks. They do have some injuries but there is Young talent in this team that can be incredibly important. With the likes of Nicolo Zaniolo and Justin kluivert as well as Cengiz Under when he returns from injury. Also, Roma has brought in Chris Smalling who may not completely solve the defensive liability issues but he gives them an upgrade and A new scenery as Chris Smalling is going to want to prove his worth in this team. They also brought in Mkhitaryan, for the time being, he will take the spot that is occupied by under while he’s injured. He has looked fantastic on International Duty and we hope to see the same type of qualities in this competition he has won it before with Manchester United and during that season I thought he was the best player in the entire tournament this is the perfect springboard for him it to recreate qualities. Nikola Kalinic gives Roma another striker option that we don’t normally see My feeling is that together Roma is going to play their strongest team frequently as possible they have a lot of qualities in the squad and have the best manager in this group. This not be easy they will get challenged by the teams around them but I think in this group particularly you can’t see past Roma they’re significantly the favorites to win this group They have a surplus of talent. Edin Dzeko I think is the key last time Roma were in the Europa League he led the Europa league in goals. If Roma fail to win this group it would be in an indictment on everyone the only way I see Roma failing to do this is if they beat themselves if that happens it will allow the teams around them to take advantage of it they must do their job the champions league is not a done deal Roma must take this competition seriously if they do they have a realistic chance of holding the trophy at the end.