After overcoming a two goal deficit to beat Stade Rennes 4-3 on aggregate in the round of 16 of the Europa League last night, Arsenal’s eyes were fixed on this morning’s draw for the quarter finals of the European club competition.
Arsenal did not have to wait long, as they were drawn second, setting up a show down between the London side and Napoli.
The draw for the @EuropaLeague quarter-final has been made - and we'll face @sscnapoli— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 15, 2019
*Please note, as soon as we receive official confirmation from Uefa on the match details, we will publish across our channels
Of the eight teams left in the competition, Napoli was one of the tougher ones Arsenal could have drawn. Sitting second behind Juventus in Italy’s Serie A, Napoli boasts some of Europe’s top attacking talent in Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, and Arkadiusz Millik. Napoli also features former perpetual Arsenal back-up keeper David Ospina. However, at this point in the competition, there were few options that could be considered easy or favorable, and Arsenal will need to be at their best if they want to make it past the Italian side.
Arsenal have only faced Napoli twice before, splitting two matches in the 2013 Champions League. This also marks the second season in a row that Arsenal will have faced an Italian club in the Europa League, having beaten AC Milan last season in the round of 16 en route to a semi-final exit against eventual champions Atletico Madrid.
Although Unai Emery will not get a chance to face his former club Valencia in this round, there is a possibility that a reunion happens in the semi-finals, as the winner of Arsenal and Napoli will face the winner of Villareal and Valencia. With Chelsea being drawn on the other side of the bracket, the chance for an all-London final is very real.
Villareal v Valencia
Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague v Chelsea