Breaking: Chelsea’s next opponent for Europa League revealed

The Champions League’s little sister Europa League has delivered almost as much excitement, thrills, and surprises this season, providing us with an extra dollop of European entertainment over the past few weeks to tide us over.

Now we get to see the last remaining knockout rounds before the final at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.

No away goals decided from the Round of 16 who would make the pot for the Quarter-Finals, though there were certainly some close calls.

Chelsea weren’t one of them, however. The Blues marauded past Dynamo Kyiv on an 8-0 aggregate score, taking no prisoners in the Ukraine, and keeping Maurizio Sarri in a job for the time being at least. Olivier Giroud was the star of the show in the second-leg with a hattrick at the Stadion NSK Olimpiyskiy.

Arsenal overcame a French fright by seeing off Ligue 1 mid-table battlers Rennes with a strong home performance at the Emirates Stadium in north London. The Gunners made sure they helped retain Unai Emery’s strong legacy in the competition with the comeback to propel them into the last eight, no doubt to the chagrin of Hatem Ben Arfa.

Primeira Liga table-toppers Benfica – currently battling with Porto for the title and will be pleased by their rivals having drawn Liverpool in the Champions League Quarter-Finals in the more premier European competition – saw off Dinamo Zagreb, with a dominant home performance at the Estadio da Luz.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Internazionale on paper looked to be the most enthralling tie, but only a single goal in the sixth minute of the second-leg from Luka Jovic, allowed the German side passage over the Serie A outfit.

Valencia edged out FC Krasnodar with a 3-2 aggregate victory. Napoli suffered a few jitters in Austria in a brilliant tie, but just overcame FC Salzburg who had an excellent home record. Slavia Prague slithered past Sevilla in perhaps the most thrilling matchup of the whole tournament so far; the final aggregate score, 6-5.

Villarreal’s strong away performance in Russia means they could welcome Zenit St. Petersburg with a little bit of comfort. The Yellow Submarine has been a semi-finalist on three occasions in the Europa, the last coming in the 2015/16 season.

So there we have it, our eight teams ready to be drawn:

Chelsea

Valencia

Napoli

Arsenal

Benfica

Eintracht Frankfurt

Slavia Prague

Villarreal

IT’S Slavia Prague vs Chelsea EASY ONE FOR CHELSEA

Semi-final 1: Arsenal or Napoli vs Villarreal or Valencia

Semi-final 2: Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt vs Slavia Prague or Chelsea

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