Europa League quarter-final draw: Arsenal handed Napoli test – as it happened

Arsenal will face a tough assignment against Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, while Chelsea play Slavia Prague

Thanks for your company – that’s it for this one. These ties will be played on 11 April and 18 April. While the rest of your Friday away with our main live blog – see you there!

Arsenal will now be at home in the first leg against Napoli, by the way – it has switched so that they and Chelsea aren’t at home on the same night.

“It’s not just the Luka Jovic derby,” points out Sandeep. “It’s the David Ospina derby too [Arsenal v Napoli]. Is Ospina eligible to play? I hope he is and he plays.”

Great shout! It seems he and Jovic both are, because Ashley Wazana has emailed in with further detail:

“As with Courtois, it was UEFA which stipulated that clauses stating a loanee cannot play his parent club is not a legally applicable club in UEFA competitions. Chelsea never granted permission to Courtois. It was UEFA that had to intervene. It is still legal in a domestic league.”

Arsenal last played Napoli in the 2013-14 Champions League group stage, by the way. They won 2-0 at home and 2-0 away. Should be similarly tight this time ...

Further explanation from Jamie O’Sullivan: “Think he’s eligible, but the host club has to have granted express permission from the parent club at the start of the season. Courtois played against Chelsea in 2014 on this basis.”

I rather suspect he’ll be off to one of the La Liga or Premier League big boys in a matter of months ...

I’m told he can play in it. That’s good news. He’s a special player.

Sorry for sharing my own tweet but that’s a genuine question. To explain: he is Europe’s hottest striker at the moment and scored Eintracht’s winner at Inter yesterday. *But* they face Benfica, from whom he is still on a two-season loan, in the last eight. Am I missing something? Can someone clear up whether he will be eligible?

The Sarri Final is on, then! Arsenal will have something to say about that, though. As will Slavia and, well, everybody else ...

Semi-final draw

Napoli or Arsenal v Villarreal or Valencia

Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt v Slavia Prague or Chelsea

Have to say that, like the Champions League, this is set up so nicely now ...

Europa League quarter-final draw in full

Napoli v Arsenal

Villarreal v Valencia

Benfica v Eintracht Frankfurt

Slavia Prague v Chelsea

We move on to the semi-final draw ...


Winnable for Sarri’s men ...


The Luka Jovic derby ...




Oooh! What a tie!


That joke didn’t work, I won’t try and be clever ever again – he is actually doing the lot. So here we go ...

Pierre van Hooijdonk will draw out one set of balls. Or will he insist on hogging both himself?

Another great angle from Charles Antaki:

“I doubt if anyone had imagined that they’d get this far, but it would be poignant to see Villareal were to be drawn against Arsenal. It would give fans a chance to see the fondly-remembered Santi Cazorla back at the Emirates, almost certainly for the last time. Not only is he getting now a bit long in the tooth, but Villareal are flirting with relegation and are very unlikely to be troubling the Europa League pots (or any other) again next year.”

Olivier Giroud is the Europa League’s top scorer – here he is, with Dominic Fifield:

Don’t forget, we’ve heard about a possible Sarri Derby but, if Arsenal play Valencia, there’ll be an Emery Derby too. They would have had two cracks at that if Slavia hadn’t beaten Sevilla at the last!

OK, I can hear the portentous strains of the Europa League theme tune, so the draw gathering is upon us and presumably we’ll see the balls coming out pronto ...

“I’m hoping Arsenal draw Slavia Prague for several reasons,” writes Kari Tulinius. “First of all I’m an Arsenal fan and it should be a relatively easily winnable draw, though the past decade or so has taught me to take nothing for granted. Second of all it would be great for a team like Slavia to get a glamour-tie. Third, my friend, who lives in Prague, is a life-long Arsenal fan who’s only seen them play live a few times. Having them show up in Prague would make his year.”

That would be nice! And a fun tie. I’m not an Arsenal fan but I’m *fairly* sure I saw them beat Slavia 7-0, was it, at the Emirates in ... 2007? That was in the Champions League of course. To be fair, I think there’s less of a gap between those two sides now.


As a neutral, this is exactly the one we all want too!

Here’s a reminder of what Arsenal and Chelsea both got up to last night. Are they the favourites for this trophy? Are Napoli? Or do we see Eintracht coming up on the rails?


Here! Over here!

If you’ve hopscotched from the Champions League blog, or our Friday live blog, welcome again! If you haven’t, welcome! The Europa League draw will be upon us very soon and here is a reminder of those in the pot:

Arsenal, Chelsea, Eintracht Frankfurt, Benfica, Slavia Prague, Napoli, Villarreal, Valencia

What do you fancy out of those? My hot tip if you’ve only been watching casually: keep a big eye on Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Inter Milan last night and are one of Europe’s most exciting teams at the moment.

The draw gets underway very soon. Get your emails and tweets in, and away we go!