Soccer Times

Arsenal and Chelsea look to book final spot in the Europa League

The Europa League is now at the semi-final of the competition, with the vital first legs out of the way, the crucial second legs of the last-four take place on Thursday night. Here is a detailed look at those second leg clashes:

Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt (Kick-off 8 PM)

Chelsea host Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge in their second leg tie, after the first leg of the tie finished 1-1 in Germany. The away goal makes the Blues slight favourites to progress to the final of the competition.

Chelsea have already booked a Champions League spot for next season via finishing in the Premier League. However, the Blues will still be keen to lift the Europa League trophy this season after a rather inconsistent campaign.

The team from south west London have an impressible recent record in the Europa League in recent seasons, as the Blues are unbeaten in 16 matches in the competition, having recorded 14 wins in the process.

Chelsea are unbeaten in the Europa League/UEFA Cup in 14 home games, having recorded 12 wins in the process. The Blues have also scored at least two goals in eight of their last nine Europa League games on home soil. Chelsea are favourites to win this clash and lift the trophy this season.

Eintracht Frankfurt are enjoying an excellent campaign. The visitors are also currently fighting it out for a Champions League in the Bundesliga. Their performances in this competition have also been stellar.

The German sides form has dipped in recent weeks, as they have now failed to win in four matches in all competitions. Frankfurt have been slightly inconsistent in this competition, but have lost just once in 17 Europa League outings dating back to 2013. That one defeat came in the last round in a 4-2 defeat at Benfica.

Valencia v Arsenal (Kick-off 8 PM)

Valencia host Arsenal at the Estadio Mestalla, as the home side look to overcome a 3-1 deficit from the first in north London.

The home sides form has not been great of late, in fact, Los Ches were on a run of three straight defeats in all competitions until a 6-2 win at struggling Huesca last time out. That run, of course, included the first leg defeat.

The defeat at the Emirates Stadium ended a seven-game run without a defeat in the Europa League for the Spanish side. Los Ches have also won their last six home matches in the competition, scoring at least twice in five of the six wins.

Winning the Europa League now looks to be Arsenal’s best chance of securing a Champions League spot this season. The Gunners head into this clash on the back of just one win in their previous five competitive outings.

However, Unai Emery’s team has won their last four matches in the Europa League, scoring at least twice in three of the four wins. The Gunners have lost two of their last three away games in the Europa League.

Emery’s team recorded a 1-0 win at Napoli in the last round of the competition, but have been poor on their travels of late, so cannot afford any complacency going into this clash.

Who will make it to the Europa League final?

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