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Teams: Anzhi Makhachkala, Liverpool, Viktoria Plzen, Fenerbahce, Steau Bucuresti, Dnipro, Napoli, Rubin Kazan, Lazio, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayer Leverkusen
The sheer amount of clubs in this category indicates how difficult it is to emerge as Europa League winners. All of the aforementioned teams could be worth a cheeky bet and have the capability to sustain a run to the final.
Viktoria Plzen's European form has been impressive. Although Academica and Hapoel Tel Aviv aren't the most prolific of opponents, a victory against Atletico Madrid in the final group fixture will have grabbed the attention of many.
Dnipro's Group F win should also be applauded. The Ukrainian side have got to focus on the Europa League now they have fallen 13 points behind Shakhtar Donetsk in the domestic campaign. Just one loss in a group that included Napoli, PSV Eindhoven and AIK is a major achievement for the side.
Although Napoli finished second behind Dnipro, most teams will want to avoid the Italians. Edinson Cavani netted seven goals in the group stage—indicating Walter Mazzarri's group may pose a more immediate threat than Dnipro. It'll be interesting to see if the Serie A contenders can outlast Lazio in a battle of the sky blues.
Premier League clubs also have a shot at going all the way. Aside from Chelsea, its Liverpool and Spurs who are likely to install fear into their opponents.
Brenden Rodgers' inexperienced squad overcame Anzhi's bank balance to progress as Group A winners. The new boss will need to strengthen his squad—particularly in the striking department—if the club from Anfield are to amount a significant challenge.
Similarly, most teams will want to miss out on playing Spurs. Unlike Liverpool, Andre Villas-Boas has a squad that is ready made to win the competition. He has a plethora of world class talents at his disposal—making the side from White Hart Lane a real humdinger of an outside bet.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the dark horses is Bayer Leverkusen. The German side has enjoyed a brilliant few weeks. A run of four victories in the Bundesliga has propelled them to second in the table behind a Bayern Munich side that continues to dominate. Although Leverkusen finished as runners-up behind Metalist Kharkiv in Group K, confidence is building.
Let's not forget the threat of Anzhi and Rubin Kazan, either. The latter finished three points ahead of Inter Milan in Group H and is struggling in the Russian League. All eggs, one basket.
Anzhi boast the competition's top scorer, as eternal goal machine Sammy Eto'o continues to notch up vital strikes. .
One to win: Tottenham Hotspur
One to watch: Dnipro