UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal Scenarios: How Each Team Can Advance

Haris KruskicContributor IApril 17, 2019

Chelsea's Eden Hazard applauds the fans after the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal soccer match between Slavia Prague and Chelsea at the Sinobo stadium in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 11, 2019. Chelsea won the match 0-1. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Two English clubs, an all-Spanish tie, and a young star led the way in the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League quarterfinal first legs last week, and we can only hope for a similarly entertaining conclusion Thursday.

How can each club advance? Need a refresher on what happened in the first matchups? Let's take a look at the scenarios in play for the second leg of all four quarterfinal ties.

      

Schedule

All four quarterfinal matches take place on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Valencia vs. Villarreal (Leg 1: 3-1)

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Benfica (Leg 1: 2-4)

Napoli vs. Arsenal (Leg 1: 0-2)

Chelsea vs. Slavia Prague (Leg 1: 1-0)

      

How to Watch in the U.S.

Every match is available to stream on B/R Live. You can buy a monthly or yearly subscription, or purchase individual matches for $2.99. Sign up for B/R Live here.

      

How to Watch in the UK

Every match is available in the UK on BT Sport, the BT Sport App and BTSport.com.

        

Valencia vs. Villarreal

Jose Miguel Fernandez de Velasco/Associated Press

The all-Spanish tie looked to be headed into the second leg all square at 1-1 until Valencia unleashed two spectacular goals in stoppage time to throw the matchup on its head.

Villarreal now faces a tall task in the second leg against a Valencia side that has only lost once in its last 20 matches in all competitions.

Villarreal also needs to score at least three goals to go through, which Valencia hasn't given up in one match all season.

Not only that, but the Yellow Submarine are winless in three matches against the Bats this season. All those statistics are probably why FiveThirtyEight gives Valencia a 97 percent chance to advance to the semifinals.

Nonetheless, here's how each club can advance to the semifinals.

B/R Live

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Benfica

Armando Franca/Associated Press

A hotly contested first leg saw young talents Ruben Dias and Luka Jovic find the back of the net, but it was the performance of Benfica's 19-year-old Joao Felix that had the soccer world talking as he carried the Portuguese side to a 4-2 win at home with a hat trick plus an assist.

Juventus, seemingly dazzled by his play, will reportedly be in talks with Felix's agent this week to discuss a potential summer move, according to Jaime Candil of AS. Citing Portuguese reports, Candil suggested an initial offer of €75 million from the Italian giants was turned down. 

Hosts Frankfurt must now overcome Benfica's momentum, needing at least two goals to advance. The odds aren't on its side though, as FiveThirtyEight gives Benfica a 78 percent chance to advance to the semifinals.

Here are the results each club needs to advance.

B/R Live

Napoli vs. Arsenal

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The Gunners made a statement at home in the first leg after defeating Napoli 2-0 in what looked to be the biggest matchup of the quarterfinals heading in. Aaron Ramsey finished a terrific team goal early on to give Arsenal the lead.

Then, an unfortunate deflection off of Kalidou Koulibaly doubled Arsenal's lead just 10 minutes later and cemented the Gunners' two-goal advantage heading to Naples for the second leg.

Napoli will like its chances at the Stadio San Paolo after winning five of its six home matches in European competition this season, including a win against Liverpool in the Champions League back in October.

Meanwhile, Arsenal has lost six of its last 10 away matches in all competitions, including its previous two away legs in the UEL against BATE Borisov and Rennes. Nonetheless, FiveThirtyEight gives Arsenal an 87 percent chance to advance to the semifinals.

Here are the results each clubs need to advance.

B/R Live

Chelsea vs. Slavia Prague

Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Slavia Prague's dream run in the competition continued when it defeated Sevilla 4-3 in the final minutes of extra time in the previous round.

Another formidable task came next when it drew Chelsea in the quarterfinals—the English side has won 10 of its eleven matches this season in the UEL.

The Czech club seemed to be off to a bright start as the first leg remained 0-0 heading into the last few minutes. However, Willian's cross found Marcos Alonso in the 86th minute to break the deadlock in Prague last week.

Chelsea has had a resurgence in form as of late, winning four of its last five and reaching as high as third in the English Premier League table at one point.

The Blues have the best odds of any remaining UEL club to make it to the semifinals, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 99 percent chance to advance.

Can Slavia Prague pull off yet another improbable upset? Here is how each club can advance to the semifinals.

B/R Live

Semifinal Pairings

The semifinals begin on May 2.

Winner of Valencia-Villarreal vs. Winner of Napoli-Arsenal

Winner of Eintracht Frankfurt-Benfica vs. Winner of Chelsea-Slavia Prague

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