By Peter auf der Heyde
Chelsea and Arsenal will tackle Thursday the return game of the Europa League in good position for a qualification in the semifinals. Arsenal secured an important 2-0 home win against the heavyweight of Serie A Naples at the first leg while Chelsea returned from Prague with a 1-0 win. the Bluesont on the other hand lost 2-0 in the Championship and are in danger of not finishing in the first four, making their success in the Europa League all the more necessary. The winners of this prestigious competition will automatically be qualified for the lucrative Champions League, a tournament that is both for Chelsea and arsenal the real goal. French striker Olivier Giroud said that the match going to Prague had been their hardest in the Europa League this season. “They will do everything to go to the next phase. We know their level so we have to finish working at home, “he explains. Their coach Maurizio Sarri is in charge of the difficult mission to juggle between two competitions at the same time, knowing that it is probable that a victory in the Europa League does not allow him to keep his position next season. Arsenal will travel to Italy four days after competing with Watford in the Championship and it is possible that several players in the first game will not play the second. The Gunneris criticized by former striker Paul Mariner who said that the Club had missed too many opportunities during the match. “The interest was to finish with this round. They had the opportunity, at home, to really kill the game. I don’t care where you go, 2-0 in European competition, it’s not over. Because anything can happen at European evenings, you don’t know if you’re going to have a bad luck or if the players are going to play badly, “he told reporters. From his side Valencia did half the way after his 3-1 victory outside against Villareal and can even afford a short home defeat against his rivals La Liga. nothing is played between Eintracht Frankfurt and Benfica Lisbon because even if the Portuguese scored four home goals at the go match, they conceded two. A qualification would allow Frankfurt to end up in a European semi-finals for the first time since the 1979/1980 season when they had beaten the Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final of what was called at the time the UEFA Cup. StarTimes will be broadcasting the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on-line in all sub-Saharan Africa. Peter auf der HeydePeter auf der Heyde is an award-winning writer and journalist who covers the major European football leagues. South African of birth, he is particularly interested in connections between Africa and European football and covered 12 African Cup of successive Nations live. Former Director of the Sports Department of the German news agency DPA, he is a recognized expert of the Bundesliga.
Peter auf der Heyde
Has played as a professional for the Bosmont Chelsea in South African first division and now shares his time between South Africa, Germany and the United Kingdom.