The semi-finals of the Europa League have arrived, and there are some intriguing ties for bettors. Pinnacle's Europa League Power rankings provide an overview of the teams left in the competition. Who will win the Europa League?
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Outright odds: 2.480*
Semi-final opponent: Eintracht Frankfurt
Chelsea will look to continue their recent good form in this competition and have been drawn with dark horses Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals after dispatching Czech side Slavia Prague in the last eight.
Maurizio Sarri’s team have been struggling to find form domestically, so it is likely the Italian will view this competition as their best option for Champions League qualification, which should create an extremely exciting two-legged tie with Frankfurt.
Experience will be key for the Blues, and they generally find a way of lifting silverware on a regular basis. Combine that with the vast amount of talent in their squad together with the world-class Eden Hazard, and they have to be favoured to overcome the German side but it certainly will not be straightforward.
Outright odds: 3.290*
Semi-final opponent: Valencia
Arsenal were handed a tough assignment in the quarter-finals after being drawn against Napoli, but the Gunners brushed the much fancied Italians aside with relative ease, winning both home and away legs in impressive fashion.
Manager Unai Emery won three Europa League titles in a row with former club Sevilla, and the Spaniard will see this competition as very important for the sides’ progression with a Champions League place available to the winner with a top four finish far from certain domestically.
Home advantage will be the key to victory for the London club having been outstanding at Emirates Stadium this season, and it is hard to look past them to make the final in Baku, on 29 May if they repeat this kind of form.
Outright odds: 4.760*
Semi-final opponent: Arsenal
Valencia moved into the Europa League after being eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages, and since starting the season with just one win from their first 13 games in all competitions, they have steadily climbed the table domestically and now find themselves in good form with plenty of momentum.
Marcelino García Toral’s side look very capable in this competition, brushing Zenit St Petersburg aside 5-2 over two legs, before a comfortable two-legged win over Villarreal in the quarter-finals, and if they perform to the best of their ability over the two legs it will be an extremely close encounter with Arsenal.
Valencia have good memories of Arsenal in European competition and it might work to their advantage on paper being a less intimidating prospect than Napoli, for a place in the final.
4) Eintracht Frankfurt
Outright odds: 6.890*
Semi-final opponent: Chelsea
Eintracht Frankfurt progressed through to the knockout stages with a perfect six wins out of six in the group stages, and faced a difficult quarter-final tie against Benfica, but eventually overcome the Portuguese side in a thrilling two-legged encounter.
The German side lost four of their first five matches under Adolf Hütter domestically, but since his departure, new manager Niko Kovač has guided the club from 15th in the Bundesliga to contention for a Champions League place, while regularly impressing in this competition – thanks largely to their prolific strike force Luka Jović and Sébastien Haller.
With big clubs eyeing their key players, this is their best chance at winning silverware for a long time and bettors should expect an all action and likely high-scoring two legged tie with Chelsea.
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