Chelsea led 1-0 from the first leg; Winner plays in the semi-final against Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt
Last updated: 18/04/19 18:57
Chelsea will be without defender Antonio Rudiger when they face Slavia Prague in Thursday's Round of 16 final at 20.00.
The defender suffered a knee injury on Sunday's 2-0 Chelsea victory in Liverpool and is unavailable.
Chelsea drew 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Marcos Alonso.
Head coach Maurizio Sarri was operated on a tooth on Wednesday and his assistant Gianfranco Zola entered the press conference before the match.
When asked about Rudiger's condition, the Italian said, "It does not look as bad as we thought it would, he's a strong boy and should be back sooner.
"He's an important player for us, I've seen him improve in many ways, how he's on the ball and how he defends, we change defenders often, and when Christensen plays with Luiz, he has done well ,
"He will be missed, but those who play have done a good job."
Zola expects the German defender to play against Manchester United later this month. It means that Andreas Christensen will stand by David Luiz as a defender.
The winner of the quarter-final face Benfica or Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final, while the Portuguese traveled with a 4-2 lead in the return leg to Germany.
Chelsea will continue his Premier League Four Challenge on Monday with a home game against Burnley before traveling to Manchester United on Sunday, April 28. Both games are live Sky sports,
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April 19, 2019, 3:15
Gary Cahill will be in the Chelsea squad while Rudiger is eliminated due to injury. David Luiz and Andreas Christensen play together in the defense center.
Sarri could once again turn his front line after the 2-0 victory in Liverpool. Pedro and Olivier Giroud may have missed the Anfield clash.
- So far, Chelsea's only European meeting with Slavia Prague was a 1-0 win in the first leg.
- Slavia Prague have been without victory in their last eight European matches with English clubs (W0, D2, L6) since their 2-1 home win against Leeds in March 2000.
- Chelsea have won 10 out of 11 Europa League (W10, D1, L0) matches this season – no English team has won 11 European championships in a single season (Manchester United 2002-03 / 2016-17 and Newcastle 2004-05) 10 wins made).
- Slavia Prague has lost a rematch deficit in four out of twelve events that have occurred in major European rivals, despite being lost at home in all four defeats.
- Willian has made seven European League appearances for Chelsea available this season, along with Igor Stasevich of BATE Borisov.
Charlie Nicholas's prediction
I would imagine there will be another break for five or six Chelsea players. Eden Hazard will have one night off and Olivier Giroud will come in as well as Pedro. There are enough choices.
I would keep Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the side, but this will be another pleasant night for Chelsea. Giroud will score again.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet.))
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