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Villarreal’s Jaume Costa, right, tries to block a shot from Valencia forward Kevin Gameiro during the Europa League quarterfinals, 2nd leg, soccer match between Valencia and Villarreal on April 18, 2019.
Villarreal’s Jaume Costa, right, tries to block a shot from Valencia forward Kevin Gameiro during the Europa League quarterfinals, 2nd leg, soccer match between Valencia and Villarreal on April 18, 2019.|Alberto Saiz | Associated Press
Soccer

Soccer Thursday: Miller picks UEFA Europa League semifinal first leg action: Arsenal v Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt v Chelsea

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

After Lionel Messi and Barcelona all but saved humanity Wednesday with its 3-0 win over Liverpool, two more English teams take to the pitches Thursday in UEFA Europa League semifinal first leg action.

Arsenal will be the London team that gets to play at home in the first leg, and the Gunners will take on Valencia. Neither team comes into the contest in decent form; both have at least three losses in their last seven matches.

But what both teams have done, for the most part, is score goals. Expect that to carry over here, with Valencia trying its best to get an away goal that could prove to be the key to winning the tie.

In Germany, Eintracht Frankfurt will play host to Chelsea, which is the favorite right now to bring home the title. Much like the other tie, neither team comes into this contest in stellar form. Chelsea is the slight favorite to win today, and a heavy favorite to advance.

Eintracht Frankfurt is a very good side, so expect it to score. But Chelsea should as well, and a score draw would be a great result heading back to Stamford Bridge next Thursday.

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Arsenal (+105) vs. Valencia (+270), draw (+240, 3 p.m. (UniMas and Fubo.tv )
THE PICKS:
Both teams to score yes (-120)
Over 2.5 goals

Eintracht Frankfurt (+205) vs. Chelsea (+138), draw (+230), 3 p.m. (Univision Deportes and Fubo.tv )
THE PICKS:
Both teams to score yes (-130)
Chelsea to qualify for final (-200)