Thursday 9 May: 8pm KO
Live on BT Sport
Chelsea have already qualified for next season’s Champions League so that aspect of the Europa League has faded into insignifance for them. Winning a European trophy would cap a reasonably successful season for them. After drawing the away leg of this semi-final tie 1-1, they have a good chance of progressing against an inconsistent Eintracht Frankfurt.
In the end, Chelsea didn’t need to be in top form to guarantee themselves a place in the top four of the English Premier League. Eight points from their last five league games isn’t exactly a glorious return but their win over Watford on Sunday has taken them into the Champions League.
That takes away the worry of having to win the Europa League to qualify, so now they can concenrate on trying to win another European trophy. Doing so might even save Maurizio Sarri his job as their coach. Chelsea are 10/11 (1.91) at BetVictor to win the Europa League this season.
Firstly they have to get past Eintracht Frankfurt and are in a good position to do so after a 1-1 draw in Germany. You can get odds of 1/4 (1.25) at Betway on Chelsea qualifying for the final. They have certainly showed good form in this season’s Europa League and are yet to lose a game.
13 games have been played so far and 11 of them have been won. If they had repeated that form in the Premier League, pehaps they wouldn’t be 24 points behind the league leaders. The standard of opposition in the Europa League hasn’t been that great to be honest. The likes of PAOK, Vidi and Malmo FF have rarely troubled the London club.
Home form has been highly impressive in this competition with six straight wins and 18 goals scored, 17 in the last five.They have never lost a home tie in this competition and Betfred will give you odds of 4/11 (1.36) on them beating Eintracht Frankfurt.
While Chelsea are already in the promised land known as the Champions League, the same isnt the case for their opponents. They are in fourth place but with two games remaining are only ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal difference. A tight finish is on then and unfortunately for Frankfurt, their final game is away at leaders Bayern Munich.
Frankfurt had a disastrous result at the weekend as they lost 6-1 to Leverkusen with all those goals conceded in the first half. Their team for that game included four changes from the Chelsea match, all a bit risky considering the importance of the game and it clearly didn’t work. Even stranger was the fact they brought on two of their rested players for the second-half despite trailing by five goals.
The defeat makes it four games without a win for the German side and just one win in the last seven. It’s 8/1 (9.0) at Coral that they can win this game on Thursday and 7/2 (4.5) with SkyBet that they qualify for the final.
They have had a great campaign this season with wins over Lazio, Marseille, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter and Benfica. Definitely a stronger cast list than the clubs Chelsea have had to overcome. They did lose 4-2 at Benfica in the last round (though down to ten men for most of the game) but just seem to have gone off the boil at the wrong time. They are 11/1 (12.0) with Paddy Power to lift the Europa League trophy this season.
The 1-1 draw in the first leg is their only previous meeting. Will this game also end all-square after 90 minutes? 888sport will give you odds of 4/1 (5.0) on that happening this Thursday.
Eintracht Frankfurt will recall the players rested for the weekend game at Leverkusen. Chelsea are likely to start Eden Hazard after he was only a substitute in the first leg.
Another Pedro Goal?
Pedro has scored four goals in his last two Europa League games for Chelsea. He’s 7/1 (8.0) at Bet365 to score the first goal on Thursday and 13/8 (2.61) with Betfair to score anytime in the match.
Chelsea have excellent home form in this competiton and take on a Frankfurt side that has suddenly hit a bad patch. The away side have to get a goal to retain any hope of reaching the final. A bet on Chelsea to win with both teams scoring has odds of 2/1 (3.0) at Ladbrokes.