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The Daily Bee: Everyone's Favorite European Competition!

No more Champions League distractions! Time to focus on the real fun: The Europa Conference League.

Chelsea FC v Borussia Dortmund: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday as you grapple with the surprisingly unfamiliar feeling of losing a game. Sure, our team played like trash and lost to Chelsea but enough negativity! With the Champions League no longer occupying our precious time, we can focus on the real fun; the Europa Conference League!

The Europa League, once home to obscure European matchups, has become gentrified and full of English teams actually trying. The new gem of European football is the conference league where the majority of teams are from outside of Europe’s top five leagues. This year’s round of sixteen sees five teams from Europe’s traditional big five and the other eleven coming from across Europe. Today, there will be three games going on at 12:45pm EST and another four going on at 3:00pm EST. These matchups are:

AEK Larnaca (Cyprus) vs. Westham (England)

Anderlecht (Belgium) vs. Villareal (Spain)

FC Sheriff (Moldova) vs. Nice (France)

Basel (Switzerland) vs. Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)

Fiorentina (Italy) vs. Sivasspor (Turkey)

Gent (Belgium) vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey)

Lech Poznan (Poland) vs. Djugarden (Sweden)

That’s eleven different countries represented! My personal favorite are Slovan Bratislava who currently sit second in Slovakia’s Super Liga. The REAL super league. They on a Basel team with former Dortmund players Marvin Hitz and Bradley Fink. Will they win? Hell if I know, I’ve only heard about them three minutes ago!

This is genuinely the only photo Getty had of Slovan Bratislava outside of players being out of focus and in the background.
Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

So if you’re struggling to cope with defeat and need a hit of some obscure central European football to get you a little buzzed, the Conference League is the place to go.

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What’s your favorite team from an obscure league and what are your actual thoughts on the Europa Conference League? I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for smaller clubs to participate on a slightly larger stage.