Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
The Europa League, like the Champions League, has a considerable English presence in the competition’s penultimate round, with both Chelsea and Arsenal among the quartet of the tournament’s Semi Finalists.
On Thursday, Maurizio Sarri’s side travel to Germany to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their double-headed tie at the Commerzbank-Arena, while top-4 rivals Arsenal host La Liga club Valencia at the Emirates Stadium in the first act of their two-legged Semi Final tussle.
With a compelling night of continental action on the cards in Europa League this week, punters should have ample opportunity to dip their toes into the always interesting in-play markets.
To help you identify which of the in-play markets to keep an eye on, we’ve compiled a useful set of statistics and patterns to arm yourself with.
Check them out below:
1st and 2nd half goals
- Arsenal scored 22 times across their 12 2018/19 Europa League fixtures en-route to the competition’s Semi Finals, though it’s interesting to note that 14 or 63.6% of their total UEL goals arrived in the 1st half of their games.
- Conversely, 66% of the 6 goals the Gunners shipped during the same 12-game sequence were conceded in the 2nd half of their fixtures.
- The 30 goals Chelsea have scored in this season’s Europa League were evenly split between each 45-minute periods, with 15 scored in the 1st and 15 scored in the 2nd half of their matches.
- When it comes to conceding goals however, the Blues have routinely been far more vulnerable after the break, with a whopping 71.4% (5) of the 7 goals they conceded rattling the net after half time.
- Both Eintracht Frankfurt and Valencia have posted comparably unremarkable 1st and 2nd half goals figures – 46.4% the Bundesliga outfit’s UEL goals were registered in the 1st half and 53.6% in the 2nd, while Valencia’s equivalent 1st and 2nd scoring percentages stand at 45.4% and 54.6%.*
*Valencia have only played 6 Europa League matches this season compared to the 12 the other teams have played due to their Champions League involvement.
BTTS in 1st and 2nd half
- Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League matches are out on their own in terms of producing the both teams to score in either half goods this season, especially when compared to the other 3 Semi Final competitors. Both teams found the net in the 1st half of 3 of the German club’s 12 Europa League matches this season and goals went in at either end 5 times in the 2nd half of the same dozen games.
- Chelsea’s 1st and 2nd half BTTS stats are only slightly less modest than their Semi Final opponents – both teams scored in the 1st half of 2 of their UEL fixtures, and in the 2nd half of 4 of their games.
- Both teams registered just once in the 1st half and 2nd half of Arsenal’s games respectively however, while Valencia’s stats match their Thursday host’s figures exactly.
Results from leading, drawing or losing positions
- Europa League title favourites Chelsea didn’t find themselves in a losing position in any of the 12 fixtures they have played so far in this season’s competition.
- The Blues won 11 of their 12 matches on their way to a securing a place in the Semi Finals of the tournament, drawing the other at Vidi. Chelsea went in front in Hungary last December, but eventually had to settle for a point in their Group Stage clash.
- Arsenal fell behind only once in their 12 Europa League fixtures this season, when they played away at BATE Borisov in the competition’s Group Stage. The Gunners didn’t recover from their early set-back and lost 1-0.
- In Arsenal’s only other defeat in the Europa League so far this season, they took the lead in Rennes before capitulating and falling to a resounding 3-1 defeat.
- Eintracht Frankfurt recovered from a losing to position on 2 separate occasions in the UEL this season. The Bundesliga side fell behind away at Marseille and Lazio before fighting back to win each time.
- Frankfurt also went behind in their Quarter Final first leg at Benfica, and though they initially found an equalizer, they went on to lose 4-2. The Germans also failed to win having taken the lead in their knockout match at Shakhtar Donetsk in February, though they held on for a 2-2 draw.
- Valencia went behind just once in the 6 Europa League games they’ve contested this year. The La Liga outfit went 1 down late on in Russia against Krasnodar, but managed to grab a last gasp leveller through Gonçalo Guedes.
- Chelsea have developed a handy knack of hitting the net late on in the Europa League this season. The Blues scored 6 times after the 75th minute in the 12 matches they have played in the tournament so far, with talented youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi responsible for netting 3 of those.
- Late goals have been much thinner on the ground for Arsenal however. Mattéo Guendouzi’s 79th minute strike in Qarabag and Danny Welbeck’s 77th minute winner in Portugal against Sporting are the only 2 UEL goals Arsenal have scored after the 75th minute this term.
- Interestingly, half of the 6 goals Arsenal conceded at the other end in this season’s Europa League were scored after the 75th minute.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have a penchant for striking in the dying embers of their UEL fixtures too. The German club scored 4 times in the 88th minute or later in the 12 Europa League matches they contested this season.
- Incredibly, Valencia found the net 3 times in the 90th minute or later of their Europa League fixtures this term, and all 3 late goals were scored inside their last 3 UEL games.
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