Nyon: Arsenal will take on Napoli in the pick of the ties in the quarter-finals of this season’s Europa League following Friday’s draw, as Chelsea were paired with outsiders Slavia Prague.
Unai Emery’s team will host Napoli at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg on April 11, with the return in Italy a week later.
It is a tough draw for the Gunners, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli currently second in Serie A — they were eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage despite beating Liverpool at home and drawing twice with Paris St-Germain.
The winners of that tie will go on to a semi-final against the winners of an all-Spanish quarter-final between local rivals Valencia and Villarreal.
Chelsea, winners of the Europa League in 2013, will fancy their chances of advancing, although they would be wise to beware a Slavia side who are top of the Czech league and knocked out Sevilla in the last 16.
The winners of that tie will go through to a semi-final against either Benfica or dark horses Eintracht Frankfurt.
This year’s Europa League final will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 29. The winners will secure passage to next season’s Champions League group stage.