MADRID – Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt will take on English sides Arsenal and Chelsea in the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League.
Valencia is set to visit Arsenal in a semifinal first leg, while the other semifinal will see Eintracht squaring off against Chelsea on Thursday.
Valencia lost its chance to qualify for the Champions League in La Liga after losing 1-0 to Eibar at Mestalla, but it can still get there by triumphing in the Europa League.
Arsenal is also suffering the same fate following its 3-0 away defeat to Leicester City.
Chelsea and Eintracht are both placed fourth in their respective leagues. But nothing is guaranteed on the field.
London’s Emirates Stadium and Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena will be the scenes of the first-leg clashes on Thursday.
Arsenal coach Unai Emery will face off against his former club Valencia, where he trained for four seasons.
Emery replaced Arsene Wenger as manager of Arsenal. The club lost to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final and to Galatasaray in the 2000 Europa League final.
Arsenal is hoping to win its first continental trophy since the now-defunct 1993–94 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
Meanwhile, Valencia aims to end the year in which it celebrates its 100th anniversary in style.
The Spanish side has secured a place in the Copa del Rey finals against Barcelona and hopes to clinch a European trophy to relive the 2004 UEFA Cup victory over Olympique Marseille.
Valencia played two Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001 and lost to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, respectively.
It started in the Champions League this season but was knocked out in the group stage.
Arsenal is hoping for a better outcome than last year when it was defeated by Atletico Madrid 2-1 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Eintracht wants to maintain its performance as it has an 11 home game winning streak and has been a Bundesliga sensation this season.
Adi Hutter’s side aims to repeat the success his club had in 1979-80 when it won the UEFA Cup over Borussia Monchengladbach.