First-time UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists Slavia Praha continue their run against 2013 champions Chelsea.
Article top media content
A thrilling round of 16 win against Sevilla has put Slavia Praha into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League for the first time. Lying in wait are 2013 winners Chelsea, who overwhelmed Dynamo Kyiv last time out and have yet to lose in Europe this season.
• Slavia made it through the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time, finishing runners-up to Zenit in Group C with ten points. They knocked Genk out of the round of 32 with a 4-1 second-leg win in Belgium following a 0-0 draw in Prague, then came out on top of a dramatic, goal-laden round of 16 tie with Sevilla, a late extra-time strike bringing a 4-3 win in Prague after they had drawn the first game 2-2 in southern Spain.
• Chelsea have won nine of their ten matches in this UEFA Europa League campaign, drawing the other. They dominated Group L in the autumn before coasting to a 5-1 aggregate victory over Malmö in the round of 32 and then beating Dynamo Kyiv 8-0 over the two legs in the round of 16, Olivier Giroud's hat-trick helping them to a 5-0 victory in the Ukrainian capital after they had won the first leg 3-0 in west London.
• The clubs have never met in UEFA competition.
• Slavia have won just one of their nine previous UEFA fixtures against English opposition and even that victory – 2-1 at home to Leeds in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup quarter-finals – proved insufficient as they had lost the first leg 3-0. Slavia have also lost their two other two-legged ties against English clubs, both in the UEFA Cup against Tottenham Hotspur, with first-leg defeats in Prague. Their heaviest European defeat was against English opposition – 0-7 away to Arsenal in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Chelsea are unbeaten in six matches against Czech clubs and have yet to concede on three visits to Prague, winning each of their last two matches in the Czech capital 1-0 against Sparta Praha – in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage and the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32. The latter was the first step on their run to overall victory, Eden Hazard scoring a stunning added-time equaliser in the return leg at Stamford Bridge to take the London club through.
• As runners-up to Viktoria Plzeň in the 2017/18 Czech Liga, Slavia earned a spot in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where defeat by Dynamo Kyiv (1-1 home, 0-2 away) sent them into the UEFA Europa League group stage. They won the Czech Cup last term, defeating Jablonec 3-1 in the final.
• Slavia's two previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, in 2009/10 and 2017/18, both ended unsuccessfully, but they made it third time lucky this term, scoring just four goals in their six games but finishing above København and Bordeaux.
• UEFA Cup semi-finalists in 1995/96, Slavia's most recent appearance in the quarter-finals of a European competition was that 1999/2000 UEFA Cup tie against Leeds.
• The Prague club had not conceded at home in any of their first four UEFA Europa League fixtures this term – they beat Bordeaux (1-0) and Zenit (2-0) and drew 0-0 against København and Genk – before Sevilla struck three times in the round of 16. Slavia are undefeated in their last six European home fixtures (W3 D3).
• Chelsea finished fifth in defence of their Premier League title last season, and beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final to book a first ever place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• The London side eased through to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, doing the double over PAOK (1-0 away, 4-0 home) and BATE Borisov (3-1 home, 1-0 away) before Vidi, who had lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, denied them a clean sweep with a 2-2 draw in Budapest on matchday six. In the round of 32 they defeated Malmö away (2-1) and at home (3-0) before sweeping aside Dynamo Kyiv with the third highest winning margin of any UEFA Europa League knockout phase tie.
• This is Chelsea's second appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, their first, in 2012/13, having concluded with victory in the competition overall. Their road to that final in Amsterdam, where they defeated Benfica 2-1, incorporated two wins and two defeats on their travels. They overcame Rubin Kazan 5-4 on aggregate in the quarter-final (3-1 home, 2-3 away).
• Chelsea are now 13 games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League – two shy of Atlético Madrid's competition record. Their last defeat was that 2-3 loss at Rubin, since when their away record in the UEFA Europa League is W5 D1, with 13 goals scored and four conceded.
Links and trivia
• Chelsea lost on penalties to Bayern München at the Eden Arena in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup following a 2-2 draw, Hazard having scored the Blues' second goal at the start of extra time. David Luiz and Gary Cahill were also in the Chelsea starting XI.
• Slavia's Slovakian international Miroslav Stoch joined Chelsea as a teenager but made only five appearances for the club, in 2008/09.
• Tomáš Souček was in the Czech Republic side that lost their opening UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier 5-0 to England at Wembley Stadium on 22 March, with Slavia colleagues Milan Škoda and Lukáš Masopust both appearing as substitutes. Chelsea's Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi, making his international debut, both came off the bench for England.
• Slavia's tally of four goals in the group stage was the fewest by any of the 32 qualified teams, including the eight who finished third in their UEFA Champions League group. They have scored ten in their last three knockout fixtures.
• The Czech side are one of two clubs appearing in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals for the first time, Eintracht Frankfurt being the other.
• Chelsea are the only one of the eight quarter-finalists who have won the UEFA Europa League before, though three others have lifted the trophy in its former guise as the UEFA Cup – Eintracht Frankfurt, Napoli and Valencia.
• Giroud's hat-trick against Dynamo Kyiv – on his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition – took his tally in this season's UEFA Europa League to nine, the highest in the competition, one more than Munas Dabbur of Salzburg and Wissam Ben Yedder of Sevilla, whose clubs have both been eliminated.
• Chelsea were one of seven teams to come through the group stage undefeated and are now one of only three to have retained that status after the round of 16, together with Villarreal and Eintracht Frankfurt.
• Currently seven points clear of defending champions Plzeň at the top of the Czech league table, Slavia are also through to the semi-finals of the Czech Cup, where they will host Sparta on 24 April.
• Heavily influenced by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, Jindřich Trpišovský started out as a youth coach at Sparta Praha before impressing with his work at second-division Viktoria Žižkov. He then took over at Slovan Liberec in 2017, leading the club into the UEFA Europa League group stage two seasons running. He left Liberec for Slavia in December 2017 and won the Czech Cup with the Prague outfit the following spring.
• Named as the new Chelsea boss in succession to his fellow Italian, Antonio Conte, in July 2018, Maurizio Sarri is widely considered to be one of Europe's most progressive coaches. He paid his dues in Italy's lower leagues with a multitude of clubs before getting his big break at Empoli, whom he steered into Serie A, and then replaced Rafael Benítez at Napoli in 2015. Three seasons in Naples all brought top-three finishes, his entertaining side running Juventus close for the Scudetto in 2017/18.