Only one of four Europa League quarterfinals sees two clubs within a goal of each other after 90 minutes, and that’s heavily-favored Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat of Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.
So while it’s possible that the Czech side rebounds to take care of the Blues at Stamford Bridge, it’s rational to say that tie might be the least in the balance.
Olivier Giroud says Chelsea will not be overlooking the Red and Whites, if only because of the challenge presented in the first leg.
“We were very impressed by their quality and intensity,” Giroud said, from Chelsea.com. “You get used to it in the Premier League, but honestly the first half was very tough. They put a lot of pressure on us, good pressing all over the pitch, so it was a very tough. … So we know what kind of team we will face tomorrow. They are not going to give up, and that’s why we are still cautious about this game.”
Arsenal leads its tie 2-0 after the London-hosted first leg but faces a Napoli team quite capable of putting up goals in bunches.
Napoli averages almost two goals a match in Serie A this season, but Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos says the Gunners can get the job done in Italy.
“I know my team,” he said via Arsenal.com. “I know that we are a team who play very good football. Every game we fight for the best. From the beginning we’ve improved a lot. Now we’re in the last steps of the Premier League and Europa League, and we want to win as much as we can. This is one more final and we’ll be ready to take this.”
Eintracht Frankfurt bagged four away goals and a two-goal advantage in Portugal, leaving Benfica in likely need of a three goals or better win, while Valencia scored three times at Villarreal to bring a two-goal advantage home.
Kickoff for all four second legs is 3 p.m. ET