Remember when the Conference League was first announced? And no one really felt like playing against mid-table sides from Serbia, Albania and Macedonia?
Then suddenly teams like Leicester, Olympique Marseilles, AS Roma, Feyenoord, West-Ham and Fiorentina appeared in the final stages. And the Conference became the respected little brother of the Europa League.
So the enthusiasm for the second edition of the Conference League is many times greater, judging by the celebrating of some Dutch Twente fans who qualified for the third preliminary round of the Conference League. And they are right, as the also Dutch Feyenoord prove that a European stage is always worthwhile. And so is a European title!
We expect the Conference League to only grow in the coming years, and so will its popularity. Betting on Conference League is growing in popularity along with it. In this article, you’ll get a full introduction to betting on Conference League to take full advantage next season.
Conference League tournament set-up
Leave it to UEFA to fill our television screens with even more football. After all, airtime means advertisers and advertisers mean revenue. Yet this is not the first time that three European club tournaments are running simultaneously, until the restructuring of the tournaments in ’98/’99 this was also the case.
The format of the Conference League is similar to that of the UEFA Champions League, the big difference being only that the participants enter from countries a few steps down the ladder of the UEFA Coefficient Table. What is nice is that no one directly enters the group stage of the main tournament. Direct entry does not exist and that gives all clubs a fair fighting chance in this tournament. No matter where they come from.
Participants pour in from countries low and leagues on the league coefficient list. But especially low. In the first round, 72 teams enter from countries between the 30th and 50th spot on the list. This includes countries like Wales, Latvia, Georgia, Kosovo and Luxembourg. Countries with modest reputations on the European football stage.
In the second preliminary round, this includes losing teams from the Champions League preliminary round and 90 teams from countries 6 to 29. Stronger countries that include the Netherlands, but it’s not the champions from those leagues that play. Think numbers 2, 3, 4.
In the third preliminary round and play-off round, the big countries slide in. From the numbers one to four on the coefficient list, the numbers six on the list are allowed to compete.
Looking at the course of the first edition of this tournament, it appears that clubs from the countries that join first are also the first to say goodbye. FIFO fill.
The usual suspects are the number six sides from the big countries (Germany, Spain, England and Italy). These are next year’s Manchester United or West Ham United, Real Sociedad or Villarreal, Berlin or Köln, Roma, Fiorentina or Atalanta.
Apart from these absolute battleships, there are X number of clubs that are close and sometimes make their way to the top four. Also the clubs entering from the rest of the top 10 countries stand a good chance. These are clubs from the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Austria and Scotland.
The lower we get on the coefficient list, the higher up the national league. This balances out the level, so we can also name, for example, a club like Slavia Prague or Club Brugge as outsiders for the title.
We expect clubs from Scandinavia, such as FC Copenhagen, to also feel very much at home in the Conference League.
Betting on Conference League
A new league means new betting markets. Because the tournament is new, there is little to say about the outright winner bet. In the Champions League, we know by now that a tenner on Real Madrid is not a waste of money and the same goes for a tenner on Sevilla in the Europa League.
We don’t yet have those tournament winners in the Conference League. We saw in the first season that a club like Tottenham Hotspur did not take the tournament seriously at all. Then it may be a big club, but with a youth team you are not going to break any balls. Nevertheless, the Conference League is precisely where opportunities lie for those in the know:
Do you have a problem figuring out how Serbia’s number four does against Kosovo’s number five, who have never played against each other? You’re not the only one.
It takes bookmakers several years to fine-tune the odds. This is a very unfamiliar market! That means your knowledge of obscure competitions is rewarded with odds you won’t find in the Champions League. Pure profit!
Shining at the highest level is every striker’s wet dream. Our tip for the top scorer title is to always bet on Cyriel Dessers. No seriously, it is difficult to predict in a tournament with so many clubs. Whereas at an EC or World Cup (or even Champions League) you can bet on the top scorer quietly before the tournament, in the Conference League (as in the Europa League) it is a matter of timing.
Our tip is to bet at the beginning of the group stage. If you wait until the knockout stage, the odds have already shrunk too much and, given the level, there are usually only a handful of strikers in the group stage who are eligible for this title.
First Time Winner
Will we get a new winner? Whereas in the Champions League you shouldn’t bet on first time winner because the same clubs always win, in the Conference League you shouldn’t bet on first time winner because…. Well, you can understand that yourself. We do recommend that you take a timely look at which clubs from the major leagues get a ticket to the third preliminary round. AS Roma in the final again? Under Mourinho, that is entirely plausible.
Betting on Conference League: history
Conference League history is being made now. The tournament is squeaky young and has yet to prove itself. In the Netherlands, the league has gone from a grandmothers league to dream stage in a short time.
Of course it is nice to see the big clubs shine on their stage every year, but surely it is much more fun to see your own clubbie play in Europe? And then they also have a chance of winning the final victory.
The idea of the Conference League dates back to 2015. In 2018, the tournament was announced but there was no consensus on the name. In 2019, it became the Conference League; with a magnificent cup, which was only unveiled in May 2021.
Although the Conference League was created to give countries lower on the coefficient list a European stage, clubs from all national leagues participate. So also clubs from Spain, England, Italy and Germany.
The Conference League is a new tournament. That offers opportunities for new betting markets and good odds. Keep an eye on the matches in the preliminary rounds. Many clubs have never played each other before, so odds can be unusually high.
Because this is a new tournament, the first ‘cup fighters’ have yet to emerge.
Odds boosts and Free Bets are offered throughout the season at various bookmakers as promotions.
After the group stage, the competition progresses to a knockout format, featuring the Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and a final match to determine the champion.
The group stage consists of 32 teams divided into eight groups of four. Each group plays a round-robin format, with matches held on a home-and-away basis.