Arsenal handed tough quarter-final encounter against Napoli while Chelsea get favourable draw against Slavia Prague in Europa League
- Arsenal have drawn Napoli in the pick of the Europa League quarter-final ties
- Chelsea were handed an favourable draw against Czech side Slavia Prague
- Valencia and Villarreal make it an all Spanish last eight two-legged encounter
- Benfica and Frankfurt complete the draw which took place in Nyon on Friday
- The last eight first legs will be played on April 11 with the second legs on April 18
Maurizio Sarri’s side, who are still unbeaten in this season’s competition, were awarded a favourable tie against Slavia Prague at the ceremony in Nyon.
There will be an all Spanish quarter-final draw against Villarreal and Valencia while Benfica and Frankfurt will go head to head for a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Arsenal will face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals while Chelsea play Slavia Prague
Chelsea and Arsenal discovered their fate in the quarter-final draw in Nyon on Friday
EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW
Napoli vs Arsenal
Villarreal vs Valencia
Benfica vs Frankfurt
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea
The first legs will be played on April 11 with the second legs being played on April 18.
Napoli/Arsenal vs Villarreal/Valencia
Benfica/Frankfurt vs Slavia Prague/Chelsea
The first legs will be played on April 11, with the second legs on April 18.
Chelsea will play the first leg at home first because both they and Arsenal cannot play in London on the same evening.
Should Unai Emery’s men make it through to the semi-finals of the competition, they will come up against the winner of Valencia and Villarreal while also being afforded a home game in the first leg of the last-four encounter.
The winner of Chelsea and Slavia Prague’s match will face either Frankfurt or Benfica over two legs for a place in the final.
Arsenal have won their only previous home game against Napoli in European competition, where they beat the Serie A side 2-0 in the 2013-14 Champions League campaign, with Mesut Ozil directly involved in both goals.
The German playmaker scored one and assisted the other in that match at the Emirates.
Meanwhile, the Blues, who haven’t lost in this season’s Europa League campaign, are unbeaten in their previous six games against Czech opponents in European competition, having won three and drawn three, while also managing to keep a clean sheet in four of the last five.
Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk TROLLED – ‘Arsenal reject just ended best defender in world'
Holland lost 3-2 to Germany in Euro 2020 qualifying with Nico Schulz netting a 90th minute winner.
But before that Bayern Munich winger Gnabry scored in the first half.
The 23-year-old cut in from the left hand side, evaded Van Dijk and curled home for Germany.
And fans were quick to criticise the Liverpool ace on Twitter.
One said: “Let me caption this better for you ”Former Arsenal reject Serge Gnabry just ended best defender in the world” Van Dijk.”
Another added: “So Arsenal had Gnabry and sold him. Man had Van Dijk on strings today.”
A third explained: “Serge Gnabry made Van Dijk look silly last night and being an Arsenal fan that’s upset me.”
Van Dijk has been imperious for Liverpool this season, helping them to a Premier League title challenge and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He has made 38 appearances across the two competitions and impressed in the heart of the defence.
Van Dijk also has four goals and three assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
And the Liverpool ace had more luck against Gnabry in the Champions League as the Reds knocked out Bayern Munich.
Klopp’s side return to action after the international break against Tottenham on Sunday at Anfield in the Premier League (4.30pm).
Liverpool are currently two points clear of Manchester City but have played one more game.
Van Dijk believes winning the Premier League this season would be ‘something special’.
“Would I sooner win the Premier League or Champions League? I can’t choose,” he told the Premier League Show.
“But the Premier League would be something special.
“This year, because the race is so tight it says a lot about the quality of our team if we do it.
“If not, then we should keep our heads high and try again, but that’s something we’re not focusing on right now.”
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Arsenal set to table an offer for son of World Cup winner
Arsenal is set to table an offer for Guingamp youngster Marcus Thuram at the end of the season, according to Le 10 Sport.
Thuram is the son of former French World up winner Lilian Thuram and has been a shining light in a very mediocre Guingamp side.
Unlike his father, who was a defender, Thuram is a forward, albeit more of a wide player than an out and out striker.
The 21-year-old was pivotal in knocking out Paris St Germain at the quarter-final stage of the Coupe de la Ligue, scoring the winner in extra time from the penalty spot and again scored in the semi-final against Monaco helping his side progress to next weeks final.
We are not the only side interested in Thuram, German giants Dortmund are also reported to be interested in the youngster and are said to be very keen.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is reported to be the person that brought Thuram’s name up as a potential signing having had experience of watching him in France when he was in charge of PSG.
No fee has been mentioned but Guingamp are apparently prepared to sell as long as the price is right.
You have to think that this is a very realistic signing, if Emery himself has identified the forward as a potential signing then it must be serious and based on what we know, he would be a great prospect and fantastic acquisition.
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