Europa League preview: Chelsea, Arsenal meet big names
There are only big boys left in the Europa League, and the tests awaiting Arsenal and Chelsea aren’t sleepy ones.
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The Gunners tangle with La Liga mainstays Valencia while their London rivals meet dangerous Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt come Thursday in Germany.
Chelsea will neither have Antonio Rudiger nor Gary Cahill as options in the center of the park, meaning there’s only one safety net to go with Andreas Christensen and David Luiz in the middle.
Eintracht presents a huge problem with a variety of terrific attackers including Real Madrid target Luka Jovic.
Arsenal faces an opponent with similar challenges to itself when it comes to a return to the Champions League; Valencia sits sixth, three points back of Getafe and Sevilla. Only one of the three will go to the Champions League as La Liga’s fourth place team, unless Valencia wins the UEL.
Gunners boss Unai Emery used to run Valencia, well before he was a UEL force with Sevilla, but says not much has changed besides his age. From Arsenal.com:
“My career is about thinking about progressing and learning every day,” he said. “I was there for four years and I enjoyed it. I worked, I learned, I had some very good moments. I also have a lot of friends there, my son and some other big parts of my life.”