Europa League Preview - The Gambling Times

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Europa League Preview

The second legs of Europa League quarter-finals take place on Thursday with Chelsea and Arsenal looking to secure semi-final berths.

Arsenal take a 2-0 lead to Naples as they look to fend of Serie A Napoli in the return leg.

Chelsea hold a slender 1-0 win advantage over Slavia Prague, but they will be hopeful of finishing the job off at Stamford Bridge.

Benfica travel to Eintracht Frankfurt with a 4-2 lead, but know that they will still need a good performance in Germany to progress.

The final quarter-final is Spanish derby clash between Valencia and Villarreal, and it is the Yellow Submarines who have it all to do as they trail 3-1.

We run through every game including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray, our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and BoyleSports’ Lawrence Lyons.

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Chelsea 20:00 Slavia Prague (Agg 1-0)
Stamford Bridge

TEAM NEWS: Antonio Rudiger misses out with a knee injury, meaning Andreas Christensen should start. Ethan Ampadu and Marcos Alonso are doubts.

Tomas Soucek is available for Slavia again after his suspension in the first-leg.
KEY FACT: Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 14 games in the Europa League
MATCH ODDS: Chelsea 1/3 Draw 15/4 Slavia 10/1
BoyleSports pick: Chelsea to win @5/1
ANDY SAYS: Don’t see how Chelsea don’t go through, home win…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Chelsea won’t have too many issues here, they are going through…2-0
Football Index – One to follow: Callum Hudson-Odoi – One of the best young wingers in Europe, plenty of value left in him

Eintracht Frankfurt 20:00 Benfica (Agg 2-4)
Commerzbank-Arena

TEAM NEWS: Benfica go into the game without Tyronne Ebuehi, German Conti, Gabriel and Sebastian Corchia.

Frankfurt are missing defender Evan N’Dicka, who is suspended after being sent off in the first-leg.
KEY FACT: Benfica have won the first legs in Lisbon by a two-goal margin 14 times, losing only one of those ties
MATCH ODDS: Eintracht 4/5 Draw 3/1 Benfica 16/5
BoyleSports pick: Eintracht to win & Both Teams To Score @5/1
ANDY SAYS: Benfica are a good side and I think they have enough to win the away leg also…1-2
GRAEME SAYS: A quality game, best tie of the around and I think Eintracht edge it, but Benfica progress…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Joao Felix – A young player with amazing potential

Napoli 20:00 Arsenal (Agg 0-2)
Sao Paolo

TEAM NEWS: Lucas Torreira is a doubt for Arsenal, who are without Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.

Napoli are set to be without Amadou Diawara and Raul Albiol.
KEY FACT: Napoli have been eliminated on the past eight occasions they’ve lost the first leg of a major European knockout match
MATCH ODDS: Arsenal 13/10 Draw 12/5 Napoli 21/10
BoyleSports pick: Arsenal to win @13/10
ANDY SAYS: Arsenal did so well first-leg, I think they will do it again…1-2
GRAEME SAYS: I think Arsenal will go through but Napoli might edge this on the night…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Ainsley Maitland-Niles – A very good young player, and one worth following

Valencia 20:00 Villarreal (Agg 3-1)
Mestalla

TEAM NEWS: 

Valencia are without midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and have doubts over top scorer Rodrigo Moreno, who missed Sunday’s derby with Levante. Full-back Cristiano Piccini and goalkeeper Jaume Domenech are also doubts.

Villarreal received a boost this week with the return of full-back Jaume Costa and midfielder Javi Fuego from their respective injuries. Daniele Bonera, Bruno Soriano and Miguelon are still missing for the side from the province of Castellon.

KEY FACT: Villarreal have won only one of nine European fixtures against fellow Spanish opposition
MATCH ODDS: Valencia 4/5 Draw 11/4 Villarreal 7/2
BoyleSports pick: Valencia to win @4/5
ANDY SAYS: Should be a good game, but I see a draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Valencia have done the hard work and they will see it out with victory…2-0
Football Index – One to follow: Goncalo Guedes – A big talent, and well worth considering for any portfolio

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