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Will Arsenal & Chelsea advance? Get Europa League quarter-final tips

Leigh Copson 16 Apr 2019
Arsenal ( via Images)

Europa League predictions for the quarter-final, second leg ties taking place on Thursday, April 18. Can Arsenal overcome their travel sickness to advance to the semi-finals, and will Chelsea book their place in the final four with a home win? Read on to get our free Europa League predictions and betting tips.

Chelsea v Slavia Prague

Chelsea huffed and puffed in the first leg of this quarter-final tie, but a late Marcos Alonso goal was enough to lift them to a 1-0 victory in the Czech Republic and it means the Blues are in pole position to progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League. It also means that they are still in with a chance of lifting silverware this season and it also means that they do have a backup route into next season’s Champions League in case they miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League. So can the Blues book their place among the final four in the Europa League? Back on home turf you have to fancy their chances, although it must be said that they have recorded some underwhelming home results over the course of this season – most recently that disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Wolves that saw them needed an added-time strike from Eden Hazard to snatch a share of the spoils. However, they have now won their last two competitive fixtures at Stamford Bridge while going five games unbeaten on their own turf, and only the two Manchester clubs, City and United, have managed to beat them on the King’s Road since the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City just before Christmas. In this competition they have been borderline flawless, recording 10 wins and a draw so far this season, and at Stamford Bridge they boast a perfect record five wins from five games, having out-scored their opponents 14-1. So with all of that in mind how can we go against Chelsea here? Maurizio Sarri’s men should run out winners once again and I expect them to keep another clean sheet too.

Napoli v Arsenal

Arsenal head to Italy for the second leg of his quarter-final holding a two-goal lead over Napoli thanks to that 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium, but even that healthy cushion looks shaky when you consider just how bad the Gunners have been on the road this season. They managed a 1-0 victory at Watford on Monday night, but the performance was hardly inspiring and they were given a massive hand early on when Hornets striker Troy Deeney needlessly got himself sent off for an elbow on Lucas Torreira. It was only their third competitive away win of 2019 so far and if you look at their previous two away ties in this competition, it makes for ugly reading. Unai Emery’s side have lost away from home in each of the last two rounds, forcing them to turn things around on home soil, but they do not have that ‘luxury’ in this quarter-final tie because they must try to complete the job on foreign soil. But can they? Napoli halted a three-match winless run in all competitions with a 3-1 victory at Chievo this past weekend and if you look at their home form over the course of this season it makes for daunting reading. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have lost just one competitive fixture at home during the 2018/19 campaign so far, against Serie A league leaders Juventus, and in Europe that have already beaten Liverpool and drawn with Paris St Germain on their own patch. So when you couple all of this with Arsenal’s ‘travel sickness’ everything is pointing to Napoli winning this second leg tie. But whether that will be enough to see them through to the final four, we will have to wait and see.

Valencia v Villarreal

Valencia delivered a winning bet for me a week ago as they took control of this all-Spanish quarter-final tie with a 3-1 victory at Villarreal, and I am standing by them again on Thursday night as they try to secure a place in the final four at the expense of their domestic rivals. Villarreal actually boast a very good recent record at the Estadio de Mestalla, winning three of their last four visits to the stadium, but this is the fourth meeting between the two clubs during the 2018/19 campaign and it does not make for pretty reading if you are a fan of ‘The Yellow Submarine’. Valencia are unbeaten in those three meetings, winning twice and drawing once, and when they played host to Villarreal a couple of months back they stormed to a 3-0 victory. I expect we could see a similar scene here. The visitors will go for broke as they try to turn this tie around and Valencia will punish that aggressiveness to win the match and advance to the semi-finals in style.

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Will Arsenal & Chelsea advance? Get Europa League quarter-final tips

Europa League predictions for the quarter-final, second leg ties taking place on Thursday, April 18.

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