Who will win the Europa Conference League in 2023-24? We check in with the Opta supercomputer to see its latest Europa Conference League predictions.

10 April

The latter stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League are upon us with the quarter-finals starting on Thursday 11 April, but which clubs are backed as the favourites by the Opta supercomputer?

Who Will Win the Europa Conference League? The Quick Hits

  • Despite a tricky-looking quarter-final clash with Lille, Aston Villa are rated as big favourites to win the Europa Conference League, going all the way in 25.9% of the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations.
  • Fiorentina benefit from being in what appears to be the weaker side of the draw, potentially setting them up for a second successive run to the final.
  • Olympiakos are rated as the biggest outsiders, partly due to them falling in the same half of the draw as Villa and Lille.
UEFA Europa Conference League predictions

Aston Villa

Since Unai Emery’s arrival as head coach in late 2022, Aston Villa’s ascent in the Premier League has been significant, to the extent that a first ever appearance in the UEFA Champions League looks likely next season despite some patchy recent form.

As such, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise to see Villa – the highest-rated of the quarter-finalists in the Opta Power Rankings – considered comfortable favourites to go all the way in UEFA’s third-tier club competition this term.

In the Opta supercomputer’s latest projections, Villa lifted the trophy in over a quarter of the 10,000 season simulations (25.9%). It would seem they represent a perfect storm of Premier League pedigree, coaching excellence and player ability, as in many respects they are in a completely different league (figuratively) to most of the clubs left in this competition.

Their chances of going all the way would likely be rated even higher too had they not been drawn against Lille in the quarter-finals, as the French side are rated as third favourites by the supercomputer. If Villa don’t get past Lille, the Europa Conference League will be blown wide open.


Beaten by West Ham in last season’s final, Fiorentina will be hoping to go one better this time around. The supercomputer’s output suggests they’ve a decent chance of doing just that.

They are actually considered to be the team most likely to reach the final, doing so in 42.1% of the simulations, while they won the trophy 19.1% of the time.

In terms of their chances of getting to the showpiece, La Viola have obviously benefited from finding themselves on the opposite side of the draw to Villa; Fiorentina face Viktoria Plzeň in the quarter-finals and, assuming they make it through (71.8%), either Club Brugge or PAOK await in the semis.

Fiorentina’s form has tailed off over the past few months, though. After Serie A Matchday 20, they were fourth in Italy’s top flight following a great first half to the season; they’re now 10th after winning just two of their past 12 league matches, and their 5-4 aggregate win over Maccabi Haifa in the last round was hardly emphatic. Success in the Europa Conference League might end up being their only route back into Europe next season.

Maccabi Haifa vs Fiorentina xG race


All of the clubs who reached the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League will have been eager to avoid Aston Villa. Lille had the dubious honour of being paired with the Premier League side, and as you might expect, that’s had a strong impact on their chances of winning the tournament.

Villa are the favourites for the competition and the supercomputer gives Emery’s men a 58.2% likelihood of eliminating Lille in the last eight. The knock-on effect is there are four teams deemed more likely to reach the final than Les Dogues (25.6%); furthermore, if Lille do see off Villa, Olympiakos and Fenerbahçe are both potentially problematic opponents to face in the semis.

Nevertheless, Lille are fourth in Ligue 1, haven’t lost in any competition since February, and their 15.5% success rate in the supercomputer’s Europa Conference League predictions puts them only behind Villa and Fiorentina.

If they come through their tie with Villa, Paulo Fonseca will fancy Lille’s chances of beating anyone still left in the competition.


After Fiorentina, Fenerbahçe are rated as the second likeliest team to reach the semi-finals (69.9%) ahead of their last-eight duel with Olympiakos.

The Turkish giants are heavy favourites for that contest and are helped by fact the second leg is due to be in front of their own fans.

Fenerbahçe are second in the Turkish Süper Lig, just two points behind bitter rivals Galatasaray, and have plenty of talent and experience in their squad. They went on to lift the Europa Conference League trophy in 15.3% of the simulations; were they to enjoy such an achievement, it would be the first European success in the club’s history.

Nevertheless, if they do it, they’ll almost certainly have to do it the hard way as either Villa or Lille await in the semis.

Club Brugge

Club Brugge do have history when it comes to deep runs in Europe, having reached the European Cup and UEFA Cup finals in the past. Both of those were in the 1970s, though, and since then they’ve only reached European semi-finals twice (UEFA Cup 1987-88 and Cup Winners’ Cup 1991-92).

Reaching the last four of this competition would be a real achievement, make no mistake, and the supercomputer suggests they’ve an extremely good chance of making it.

They face PAOK in the quarter-finals and the Belgians were successful in 63.2% of the 10,000 data-led match predictions, making them the third likeliest to reach the semis of the remaining eight teams.

Similarly, because they’re on what many would consider to be the kinder side of the draw, they’re also considered the third most likely to get to the final (32.9%). At 13.6%, their title chances reflect the supercomputer seeing them as outsiders among the main group in its Europa Conference League predictions, but they’re certainly not without hope.


Now for the real outsiders… We start with one of two Greek sides into the last eight of the UEFA Europa Conference League, Super League leaders PAOK.

Competing at this stage of the competition for the second time (after 2021-22), PAOK set up their quarter-final with Club Brugge by thrashing Dinamo Zagreb. They may well see this tie as a better draw than two years ago when they were eliminated at this stage by Marseille.

PAOK vs Dinamo Zagreb xG race

Brugge are rated as the favourites in this tie, for sure, but PAOK certainly have a fighting chance, reaching the semis in 36.8% of the pre-match simulations.

With Fiorentina being their most likely opponents in the semis if they progress, their chances of reaching the final are just 14.5% and lifting the trophy are 5%; but, if they and Plzeň produce shocks, both will fancy their chances of making it to the final in Athens.

Viktoria Plzeň

Including the qualifiers, Viktoria Plzeň have faced opposition from Kosovo (Drita and Ballkani), Malta (Gzira United), Kazakhstan (Tobol and Astana), Croatia (Dinamo Zagreb) and Switzerland (Servette). So, Fiorentina should offer a far greater challenge than they’ve faced to this point.

As such, the supercomputer considers them to be the least likely team to reach the semi-finals, only doing so in 28.2% of the pre-match simulations.

Nevertheless, this is already the furthest they’ve ever gone in any European competition, so they’ve very little to lose and expectations will be low. Ahead of the quarter-finals, they’re deemed to have only a 10.4% likelihood of reaching Athens, while in the latest season simulations, they went all the way 2.9% of the time. Only one team enjoyed glory in a smaller proportion of the sims…


Considering Olympiakos are Champions League regulars, it might be a little surprising to see they only won the Europa Conference League title in 2.6% of the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations.

But they are the least fancied of the four teams on their side of the draw (the tougher side), and if they do get past Fenerbahçe (30.1%), competition favourites Aston Villa would probably be their opponents.

With that in mind, they also reached the nearby Athens final the fewest times of all eight clubs left, getting to that stage in just 6.5% of the simulations.

They shouldn’t be completely written off, though, as Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv found out in the last round. Olympiakos were 4-1 down ahead of the away leg (played in Bačka Topola, Serbia due to safety concerns associated with playing games in Israel) but took the match to extra-time by winning 4-1 after 90 minutes. Another two goals in extra-time saw them complete an astonishing turnaround.

Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Olympiakos xG race

How Does the Opta Supercomputer Model Work?

• The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) by using betting market odds and Opta Power Rankings. The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.

• The model considers the strength of opponents by using these match outcome probabilities and simulates the remaining fixtures in the competition thousands of times. By analysing the outcome of each of these simulations, the model can see how often teams finished in each position to create our final predictions.

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