These are the games in which Eden Hazard shines
After the craziest day of UEFA Champions League action possibly ever, the UEFA Europa League takes the stage Thursday.
There are two English sides left, and both are in prime position to advance to the semifinals and then possibly make the May 29 final in Baku an all-London affair.
Chelsea heads home with a 1-0 lead over Slavia Prague, after a late goal last week gave the tournament favorites a heavy advantage heading back to Stamford Bridge.
A Prague win with Chelsea scoring as well would see the Czech team through, but the odds on that are slim; Prague comes into the match as +1000 to win, and +700 to advance.
These are the games in which Eden Hazard shines. Expect him to play a huge part today.
Arsenal fans had to watch on Wednesday as Tottenham advanced to its first Champions League semifinal in stunning fashion. Now, the Gunners go to Naples with a 2-0 lead in the tie, but weary of any collapse that could send them out of the tournament.
Any goal Arsenal scores means Napoli would have to win by three clear goals to advance because of the away goals rule, so the Gunners could lose Thursday 3-1 and still advance. But can the Gunners find the net? They have not been very good on their travels of late, with last weekend’s 1-0 win over 10-man Watford just their third in 13 going back to December.
The winner of the Chelsea/Prague tie will move on to face other Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt. The Portuguese side has a 4-2 lead in the tie, thanks to a red card last week from Frankfurt defender Evan N’Dicka. But the two away goals could prove to be vital. If Frankfurt can pull out a two-goal win at home, and hold Benfica to one goal, the German side would advance.
Frankfurt has not lost at home since December 22, against Bayern Munich.
Finally, Valencia took care of Villareal on the road last week, and should finish the job today.
There is no way these games can match Wednesday’s stunner, is there?
Chelsea (-333) vs. Slavia Prague (+1000), draw (+425), 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
Chelsea ML (-333)
Chelsea -1 (-120)
Eden Hazard to score (IF HE STARTS, LINEUPS ONE HOUR PRIOR OT KICKOFF) (-105)
Eintracht Frankfurt (-125) vs. Benfica (+310), draw (+300), 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
Both teams to score yes (-200)
Eintracht Frankfurt ML (-125)
Napoli (-143) vs. Arsenal (+370), draw (+310), 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
Both teams to score yes (-175)
Napoli ML (-143)
Valencia (-133) vs. Villareal (+350), draw (+275), 3 p.m. (B/R Live)
THE PICK: Valencia ML (-133)