Why Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have been installed as outright favourites to win the Europa League

Chelsea will be in Europa League action this month after missing out on a Champions League place for the second time in three seasons.

Having won the Premier League title under Antonio Conte in the 2016/17 season, the Blues missed out on the top four in May, thus meaning they will be in Europa League action this campaign.

The draw for the competition took place in Monaco on Friday and Maurizio Sarri’s side will face trips to Greece, Hungary and Belarus.

The FA Cup holders will start their campaign away at PAOK Salonika on September 20, before then facing MOL Vidi and BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge in October.

Perhaps not the kindest draw in terms of distance the team will have to travel over the next few months, Sarri and his side will be extremely confident of progressing through to the knockout stages.

The Blues are the current favourites at 5/1 to lift the trophy in Azerbaijan come May, with Arsenal second favourites to triumph at 9/1.

Given Sarri’s brand of attacking football at Napoli, you certainly wouldn’t bet against the team getting their hands on some silverware going on their early season form.

Well according to website FiveThirtyEight, the probability of Chelsea winning the trophy in Baku is 11%.

The probability of Sari’s team progressing through the group stage and making the round of 32 is a staggering 96%, with the side at 71% to then make it through to the round of 16.

Chelsea have a 49% probability of reaching the final eight of the competition, with the team at 32% to qualify for the semi-finals and then 20% to make the final itself.

The probability of Arsenal lifting the trophy under Europa League specialist Unai Emery is 5%.

While everyone will have their fingers crossed that Chelsea are back in Champions League action come this time next year, FiveThirtyEight have the probability of the Blues finishing in the top four at 69%, with them at 12% to win the league.

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