The UEFA Europa League semi-finals get underway this week and there are two English sides in action. Chelsea are preparing for a tough trip to Germany where they will face Eintracht Frankfurt who are unbeaten in their last 12 at home, winning nine of them.
Chelsea also boast a fantastic record in Europe. The Blue are unbeaten in the Europa League since 2013, when they were beaten in Russia by Rubin Kazan on their way to actually winning the competition. They’re currently on a run of 15 games unbeaten, winning 14 of them which is an incredible run of success.
Maurizio Sarri’s side head to Germany after picking up a crucial point at Old Trafford during the weekend, maintaining their grip of 4th position in the Premier League. Eintracht Frankfurt also shared the spoils over the weekend as they drew a blank with Hertha Berlin at home.
Both clubs are enjoying a good run in the Europa League this year, but they will be hoping to have a crack at the Champions League next time out. Neither team head into this semi-final clash under pressure to win the tournament because domestically, they’re both sat in 4th position in their respective league which would be enough to get them into next year’s Champions League regardless.
Both sides score plenty in Europe
Eintracht Frankfurt have a good track record when it comes to finding the back of the net in Europe, the German side have scored at least twice in 20 of their last 23 UEFA Europa League matches. Ten of their last 11 at home in Europe have also seen them score a minimum of two.
Chelsea are also in fine goalscoring form in this competition, as they have scored at least twice in six of their last seven. They have also scored an impressive 18 goals throughout the three knockout ties they have played so far.
The home side are going to be without Ante Rebic as the Croatian is forced to sit out through suspension. However, Evan Ndicka will make his return after picking up a ban.
Frankfurt’s Mijat Gacinovic is a doubt as he tries to recover from a stomach muscle injury. There are hopes that he will recover in time to play but Jonathan de Guzman has been placed on standby just in case.
Willian is a doubt for the match after picking up a knock during Sunday’s crunch clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Although, the Brazilian has been training with his teammates ahead of the first leg and may make the matchday squad.
Andreas Christensen is expected to start the game and replace Antonio Rudiger who is ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an unfortunate knee injury against United and having to undergo surgery.
It is expected that one of Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Ross Barkley will make their way into the starting 11 as a replacement for Mateo Kovacic. Pedro and Olivier Giroud are also expected to start the game in Germany.
This is an extremely tough game to pick a winner from, so I would suggest that the best way to go is backing goals, especially when you look at both side’s records in Europe over the season. I’d be looking at both teams to score at 1.66, as well as Olivier Giroud to score anytime (3.30) which looks a really good value bet as the Frenchman has been in fine form throughout the competition, scoring ten goals in 11 appearances.
For an outside higher value bet, both teams to score two or more goals at 5.50 might be worth considering as both teams have scored at least twice in many Europa League games in 2018/19.
Both Teams to Score @ 1.66
Olivier Giroud to score anytime @ 3.30
Both teams to score two or more goals @ 5.50