We've previewed all four Europa League quarter-finals and fancy both Arsenal and Chelsea to get positive results from the first legs.
For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
- Arsenal v Napoli
- Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Slavia Prague v Chelsea
- Villarreal v Valencia
Slavia Prague v Chelsea (2000 BST) (George Pitts)
- Sinobo Stadium, BT Sport 3
Slavia Prague made it to the last eight after shocking Sevilla in the round of 16, setting up a tough quarter-final draw with Chelsea.
The Blues, who won the competition in 2012, played in the Premier League on Monday and have a big match against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday so Maurizio Sarri may be tempted to shuffle his pack.
An area of interest is in the goalscorer markets, backing Ross Barkley to get on the score sheet anytime. The 25-year-old England ace, who could start in a midfield three alongside Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante, has scored two and assisted another in seven appearances in the competition this season.
The Blues have come up against lesser known opposition and Barkley averages 2.5 shots per game, nearly double the figure he averages in the Premier League (1.5). Should this midfield three be given the nod by Sarri, Barkley is likely to be the most advanced, the most likely to make runs into the box, and at 18/5 he is worth a small play anytime as Chelsea look to gain a first-leg advantage.
They should not underestimate the opposition, though. Slavia have lost just one of their last 17 in all competitions and managed six goals over two legs against Spanish side Sevilla, who are well versed in this competition.
Sky Bet Scorecast Boost: Ross Barkley to score first and Chelsea to win 2-1 at 80/1
An attractive price from inside the hosts' ranks is on Josef Husbauer, a likely starter in a five-man midfield.
The number 10, a Czech Republic international, has six goals in his last seven domestic appearances for Slavia and deserves a starting berth for the visit of the Premier League giants.
With these stats in mind, the 2/1 on him to get one or more shots on target looks extremely generous and too good to turn down. The home side should have a fair share of chances in the first leg and, if Husbauer starts, he could be in the thick of the action.
Score prediction: Slavia Prague 1-2 Chelsea (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
- This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Slavia Prague and Chelsea. The Czech side have won just one of their previous nine games against English sides in Europe (D2 L6) – this coming against Leeds United in March 2000 in the UEFA Cup (2-1).
- This is Chelsea’s 10th European quarter final since 2003-04. The Blues have progressed from nine of those ties, only being eliminated by Manchester United in the Champions League in 2010-11.
- Slavia Prague’s 2-1 victory at home to Leeds United in March 2000 was their most recent game in a European quarter final; they were eliminated having lost the first leg 0-3 at Elland Road. Their only progression from a European quarter final was in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup against Roma (3-3 on away goals).
- Chelsea have won more games (nine) and have a better goal difference (+21) than any other side in the UEFA Europa League this season.
- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is the top scorer in this season’s Europa League with nine goals. The last player to surpass this figure in a single UEFA Europa League season was Aritz Aduriz, who netted 10 goals for Athletic Club in 2015-16.
Arsenal v Napoli (2000 BST) (George Pitts)
- Emirates Stadium, BT Sport 2
There are no easy games at this stage of the competition, but Arsenal were handed one of the toughest opponents in Napoli when the draw was made last month.
The Serie A outfit, managed by former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, are second favourites with Sky Bet to win the competition outright (7/2) and this could be an entertaining tie full of goals over the two legs.
The Italian side have hit a sticky patch of late, losing three and drawing two of their last eight, and Unai Emery will be keen to capitalise.
If you are looking for a nice price from a goal-fest, the 11/5 available on the hosts to score in both halves looks a good option. They have achieved that in three home games in the competition this term and must look to gain an advantage before the return leg, seeing as a clean sheet is unlikely. With Arsenal's leaky defence and Napoli's attack, the visitors can at least grab an away goal.
With the Gunners' need to get an upper hand, the 21/20 available on them to score 2+ goals is a good way to go.
Score prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Napoli (Sky Bet odds: 17/2)
Best bets: Arsenal to score 2+ goals at 21/20
- Arsenal and Napoli have faced off just twice before in Europe – home and away in the group stages of the Champions League in 2013-14. Arsenal defeated the Italian side 2-0 at the Emirates, before losing by the same scoreline at the Stadio San Paolo.
- Arsenal have reached the quarter final stages of European competition in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2008-09/2009-10 in the Champions League. The Gunners knocked out CSKA Moscow at this stage of the Europa League last season (6-3 on agg.) before falling to Atletico Madrid in the semi finals.
- Napoli have reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League for the third time in their history. They fell at the semi final stage in 2014-15, but won the competition in 1988-89 with a side featuring Diego Maradona.
- Arsenal have been beaten just once in their last 17 home games in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (W12 D4) – losing 1-2 to Östersunds FK in the last 32 in 2017-18.
- Napoli have never beaten an English side away from home in European competition (P8 W0 D1 L7) – they have previously lost in such games against Burnley, Leeds United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Villarreal v Valencia (2000 BST) (Paul Higham)
- Estadio de la Ceramica, BT Sport ESPN
Spanish teams have got a great record in the Europa League, with nine out of the last 15 finals having at least one Spanish team involved, but there will be just one left flying the flag after this.
The tournament has been a welcome distraction for Villarreal who have had a disastrous season, which now sees the Yellow Submarine in the relegation zone and in real danger of going down this season. They've also sacked coach Javi Calleja only to bring him back soon after when results under his successor got even worse!
Even when they've played well, like going 4-2 up against Barcelona, they managed to end up with a 4-4 draw and that kind of sums up their entire season, especially of late and in this competition where goals have been flying in.
Valencia have had an ordinary season but are at least in the Champions League hunt in La Liga and they keep things a lot tighter at the back than the leaky Submarines, so they'll be looking to frustrate what will be a hopeful home crowd and expose that defensive weakness on the break.
The Pragmatic visitors would take a scoring draw from this one, but they're good enough to get more and although it's a risk with Villarreal scoring so many goals of late, I'm expecting a professional away job to be done by Valencia.
Score prediction: Villarreal 0-2 Valencia (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Best bets: Valencia to win to nil at 100/30
- These two sides have met in European competition twice before – in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2003-04. The first leg was drawn nil-nil in Villarreal, before Valencia saw out a 1-0 victory on home turf courtesy of a first-half penalty from Mista. Valencia, under the tutelage of Rafael Benítez, went on to defeat Marseille in the final.
- This is Villarreal’s fifth appearance in the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, also reaching this stage in 2003-04, 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2015-16; only in 2004-05 against AZ Alkmaar were they eliminated.
- Valencia have reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League for the ninth time, progressing at this stage in three of their last four attempts (vs Bordeaux in 2003-04, AZ Alkmaar in 2011-12 and FC Basel in 2013-14).
- Villarreal have won just one of their previous eight all-Spanish European games (D2 L5), defeating Atletico Madrid 2-0 at home in the first leg of the UEFA Intertoto Cup final in August 2004.
- Valencia have been beaten only twice in their last 11 games in the Europa League (W8 D1), but both games were away to fellow Spanish sides (0-2 vs Sevilla in 2013-14 and 0-1 vs Athletic Club in 2015-16).
Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt (2000 BST) (Paul Higham)
- Estadio de la Ceramica, BT Sport ESPN
Eintracht have been the revelation of the Europa League this season having put out Inter Milan in the last round and they're yet to taste defeat in the tournament, while in all competitions they're on a 15-game unbeaten run.
Benfica have a strong home record with 11 wins out of the last 14 and have improved under new coach Bruno Lage, who has drawn them level with Porto in the Portuguese title race. But there is just a worry that the push for that title could distract them from this competition.
Given Frankfurt have already won at Lazio, Marseille and Inter then this trip won't hold too much fear for them and in Luka Jovic they have one of the top strikers in Europe who has scored seven Europa League goals at an average of one every 87 minutes.
Jovic just happens to be on a two-year loan from Benfica and will desperately want to put one over on a side that obviously didn't rate him that highly before he confirms a permanent move to Champions league-bound Frankfurt - or even a bigger side in Europe.
Score prediction: Benfica 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Best bets: Eintracht Frankfurt to win at 9/4
Best bets: Luka Jovic to score anytime at 21/10
- This will be the first ever competitive meeting between these two sides. Benfica are unbeaten against German opposition in the Europa League (W5 D1), while Eintracht have never lost against Portuguese opposition in this competition (D2).
- After reaching six European quarter-finals in seven seasons between 2009-10 and 2015-16, this is Benfica’s first appearance in the last eight since they were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 2015-16.
- This is Eintracht Frankfurt’s fifth appearance in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, but their first since 1994-95, when they were knocked out by eventual runners-up Juventus.
- Since the inception of the Europa League in 2009-10, Benfica have played 20 games on home soil without losing (W17 D3), more than any other side (Fulham are closest with 10).
- Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic has scored more goals (five) when scores were level than any other player in the Europa League this season, including the winner last time out against Inter.
Odds correct at 1500 BST on 09/04/19