Chelsea vs Slavia Prague Preview: Blues targeting European semi finals 
Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea vs Slavia Prague Preview: Blues targeting European semi finals 

Chelsea welcome Slavic Prague to Stamford Bridge for their Europa League quarter final second leg. 

jake-stokes
Jake Stokes

Chelsea head into the second leg of the Europa League Quarter-Final at Stamford Bridge with an 1-0 aggregate advantage over Czech side Slavia Prague.

The First Leg

Marcos Alonso scored a late header to give The Blues the advantage in the return leg. The advancing defender found himself on the end of a floated cross from Willian

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Chelsea dominated the game with great amounts of possession but were otherwise below par that evening only registering two shots on target.

Chelsea Boss, Maurizio Sarri, was also forced to strengthen his calvary towards the end of the second half in search for a goal. Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek came on and had a positive impact.

Previous Clashes

Chelsea had never faced Slavia Prague prior to the 2018/19 Europa League campaign. However, The Blues have never lost to Slavia Prague's local rival, Sparta Prague - W2 D2.

Slavia Prague are yet to register a win in a European competition against an English side in their last eight meetings. The last win against an English side came against Leeds United in March 2000.

Form

The Blues have won four out of five of their last matches in all competitions, conceding just three with three clean sheets.

Sarri's side remain unbeaten in the Europa League this campaign having won ten out of eleven games and only conceding four times.

With the competitions top goal scorer and provider in Olivier Giroud and Willian, retrospectively, Chelsea have not found hitting the back of the net hard. Chelsea have scored 26 times - joint highest with eliminated Sevilla and Eintracht Frankfurt.

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The visiting Czech side have only won twice in five of their last games, scoring five on two occasions. Slavia currently sit top of the Czech First League and picked up a crucial point against rivals Sparta Prague on Sunday

What it means for the clubs

If Chelsea were to seal their place in the Europa League Semi-Final it would provide Roman Abramovich and a selection of Chelsea fans more confidence in Sarri's reign. Chelsea have only ever reached the Semi-Finals once in their history - the 2012/13 campaign which The Blues went on to win the title.

Slavia Prague have great history in the competition. The Czech side will be looking to match their success of the 1995/96 campaign and reach the Semi-Finals for the second ever time.

Team News

Antonio Rudiger will miss tomorrows game due to injury. Alonso did not take part in the preparatory training session at Cobham and is therefore a doubt for the second leg. Ethan Ampadu and Danny Drinkwater also missed the last training session before this evenings fixture.

Predicted Line-Up: Chelsea

(4-3-3 Holding): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Emerson, David Luiz, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N'Golo Kante; Willian, Giroud, Pedro.

Gary Cahill is in strong contention for a starting place as Gianfranco Zola confirmed the Englishman's place in the travelling squad.

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Zola reported: "Gary is in the squad for tomorrow. I still do not know whether he will be on the bench but there is a strong possibility.

"Gary has been exceptional as a professional, he has always been training very well and so I would be very happy to see him back in the team."

Zola's Thoughts

Zola was in charge of speaking to the media ahead of the Quarter-Final second leg due Sarri in need of minor medical attention.

Zola said: "I wouldn’t say we put out a weak side when we played over there. We made changes because we know we have a good squad and players who can come in and do well, as we did over there.”

"There will probably be some changes but there will not be many, because it is a tough match. We knew that before and the match over there confirmed that. We are very aware we are playing a good team and need to play at our best.“

 

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