It’s game day folks, as Arsenal gear up to take on a Napoli side that are going to pose them more issues than most teams have throughout the course of the season so far. The Gunners are in a prime position to make a solid run all the way through to the Europa League final, but of course, the Italian side shouldn’t be taken lightly by any stretch of the imagination. It’s going to be a pretty back and forth affair based on the last few encounters these two teams have shared with one another, and generally, it’s pretty easy to predict that given how both teams play.
It seems obvious to suggest that Chelsea are going to be the biggest threat if they’re also able to make it through to the semi finals, but to be honest, you never really know who is going to pop up with a great run of form this late in the competition. Everyone left in the Europa League has been able to earn their spot at this level, and the competition itself deserves a lot more respect than it actually receives.
Today, we thought it’d be pretty interesting to take a look at some of the key stats highlighted by BBC Sport in regards to the game – and expand on them. We really want to dive into which direction this game could turn in, as well as just how quickly it could do so. There are a lot of elements in play as you’d imagine, and we’re excited to see how it all develops.
- Arsenal and Napoli have met just twice before in Europe – home and away in the group stages of the Champions League in 2013-14. Arsenal defeated the Italian side 2-0 at Emirates Stadium, before losing by the same scoreline at the Stadio San Paolo.
- Although the stature of both clubs hasn’t changed all that much since these games, we don’t think they hold much importance. They shared the spoils by the same scoreline across two games, and group stage encounters are completely different to knockouts as we all know.
- Arsenal have reached the quarter-final stages of European competition in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2008-09/2009-10 in the Champions League.
- It’s worth noting, for sure, that they’ve done so in the Europa League which isn’t quite as difficult for them. It’s still a nice accomplishment, but just consider it.
To be continued..