UEFA.com profiles the last eight standing in the UEFA Europa League.
NAPOLI v ARSENAL
UEFA ranking: 14
This season: W3 D0 L1 F9 A4 (round of 32)
Knockouts: 5-1 v Zürich, 4-3 v Salzburg
Top scorer: Arkadiusz Milik (2)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: winners (1989)
- Season in a nutshell: Napoli began with high hopes under new coach Carlo Ancelotti but were not helped by being drawn in a tough UEFA Champions League section. They could only finish third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool, and now see the UEFA Europa League as their silverware target, having exited the Coppa Italia and let Juventus build a commanding Serie A lead.
UEFA ranking: 10
This season: W7 D1 L2 F19 A6 (group stage)
Knockouts: 3-1 v BATE Borisov, 4-3 v Rennes
Top scorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (4)
Last season: UEFA Europa League semi-finals
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: runners-up (2000)
- Season in a nutshell: Arsenal’s first season without Arsène Wenger since 1995/96 has been an enigmatic affair. Eleven successive wins between August and October had fans singing “We’ve got our Arsenal back”, but since then the club’s familiar defensive issues have plagued their progress. Nevertheless, the goal remains a UEFA Champions League return – either as UEFA Europa League winners or top-four finishers in England.
VILLARREAL v VALENCIA
UEFA ranking: 20
This season: W5 D5 L0 F19 A8 (group stage)
Knockouts: 2-1 v Sporting CP, 5-2 v Zenit
Top scorer: Gerard Moreno (4)
Last season: UEFA Europa League round of 32
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: semi-finals (2004, 2011, 2016)
- Season in a nutshell: Villarreal’s progress in Europe has been an isolated bright spot in a difficult campaign for the club – previously so consistent since their return to the Spanish top flight in 2013/14. Battling relegation and quickly eliminated from the Copa del Rey, the Yellow Submarine replaced coach Javier Calleja with Luis García in December only to reinstate him in late January.
UEFA ranking: 44
This season: W3 D1 L0 F6 A2 (round of 32)
Knockouts: 3-0 v Celtic, 3-2 v Krasnodar
Top scorer: Rodrigo (2)
Last season: N/A (previous campaign: 2015/16)
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: winners (2004)
- Season in a nutshell: Another team transferred into the competition from the UEFA Champions League, Valencia began the season with just one win from their first 13 games in all competition. Since then, they have steadily climbed the Liga table while booking themselves a spot in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona in May.
BENFICA v FRANKFURT
UEFA ranking: 21
This season: W2 D1 L1 F5 A2 (round of 32)
Knockouts: 2-1 v Galatasaray, 3-1 aet v Dinamo Zagreb
Top scorer: Eduardo Salvio, Haris Seferović, Jonas, Francisco Ferreira, Alex Grimaldo (1)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: runners-up (1983, 2013, 2014)
- Season in a nutshell: Having finished third behind Bayern and Ajax in their UEFA Champions League group, Benfica are now dreaming of a first ever triumph in this competitions. It would be a fine achievement for Bruno Lage, who has flourished since taking over from Rui Vitória in January – most notably steering the Eagles right back into a tense Liga title race with Porto.
UEFA ranking: 77
This season: W8 D2 L0 F24 A8 (group stage)
Knockouts: 6-3 v Shakhtar Donetsk, 1-0 v Internazionale
Top scorer: Luka Jović (7)
Last season: N/A (previous campaign: 2013/14)
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: winners (1980)
- Season in a nutshell: What a turnaround it has been since the start of the campaign, when Frankfurt lost four of their first five matches under Adolf Hütter. The successor to Niko Kovač held his nerve and has guided the club from 15th in the Bundesliga to top-four contention, while regularly impressing in Europe – thanks largely to prolific duo Luka Jović and Sébastien Haller.
SLAVIA PRAHA v CHELSEA
UEFA ranking: 72
This season: W5 D3 L2 F14 A9 (group stage)
Knockouts: 4-1 v Genk, 6-5 aet v Sevilla
Top scorer: Miroslav Stoch, Milan Škoda, Jaromír Zmrhal (2)
Last season: UEFA Europa League group stage
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: semi-finals (1995/96)
- Season in a nutshell: Miroslav Stoch has led the way in terms of goalscoring for Slavia as they have kept up a challenge on three fronts. Possessing a solid lead over Viktoria Plzeň in their domestic league and through to the Czech Cup quarter-finals, Jindřích Trpišovský’s men are also making a big splash in Europe after ousting Sevilla in the last 16.
UEFA ranking: 17
This season: W9 D1 L0 F25 A4 (group stage)
Knockouts: 5-1 v Malmö, 8-0 v Dynamo Kyiv
Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (9)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League best: winners (2013)
- Season in a nutshell: Chelsea kicked off with five straight victories in the Premier League as former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri settled in, yet that early momentum gradually began to fade. Although the Blues finished runners-up in the English League Cup, they have slipped in the top-flight standings and suffered FA Cup elimination – increasing the onus on their UEFA Europa League tilt.