Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By

UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw

UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw

In the English top tier, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United, And Chelsea are now embroiled in an almighty tussle for a Champions League qualification spot for the 2019/20 season.

Maurizio's Sarri's side are now sixth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, but with a game in hand. Just behind, Manchester United and Chelsea are sniffing around on 58 and 57 points, respectively.

Barnard admits that Chelsea are happy not to take on their London rivals in the last eight of the competition, but insisted that no game will be easy at such a late stage of the Europa League. The Blues are playing Everton on Sunday afternoon.

"We knew before the draw we could face any team and I always say if you want to win any competition, you need to be ready to play any team", Cech said.

Arsenal must get past Napoli if they are to book themselves a place in the semi-finals of this season's Europa League.

The road to the final in Baku is shaping up to be a long, hard slog for Arsenal, who could be forgiven for feeling a twinge of envy at Chelsea being drawn against Slavia Prague and then facing a semi-final against one of Eintracht Frankfurt or Benfica.

Should Chelsea win the Europa League, as they did in 2013, it would offer them an alternative route to next season's Champions League.

So, the Gunners will now face the Italian side at home in the first leg because Chelsea won last season's FA Cup.

What is for certain, is that in five matches time, if Arsenal and Chelsea have indeed progressed to the Olympic Stadium, with the Champions League qualification at stake dependant on their form in the Premier League, we could be in for a brutally bruising bout between two English sides with two managers having everything to prove. It has not, so far, been quite as successful as the real thing, but Ancelotti is a shrewd coach and strategist and Unai Emery will have to get his tactical response right.

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