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Europa League semi-finals


Europa League semi-finals


Outgoing European Champions Chelsea host Swiss champions Basel in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

The Londoners – who were eliminated from the Champions League after the group stage, won the first leg 2-1 in Switzerland and are favourites to win the second at Stamford Bridge and progress to the final in Amsterdam on 15 May.

But coach Rafael Benitez refuses to look further than Thursday night’s encounter.

Benitez said: “Obviously yes. As a manager you want to win every trophy if you can, so we have an opportunity. But my concern is that we will be thinking that we are in the final and that is not the case. We will play against a very good team, a team that has scored goals away from home, so everybody has to realise that it will be tough.’‘

Fellow Champions League dropouts Benfica will continue their bid for a first European trophy in 51 years when they host Fenerbache in their semi-final do-or-die second leg.

The Portuguese outfit trail their Turkish opponents 1-0 from last week’s first leg but in front of their home fans should fancy their chances of making it to their first European Cup final since 1990.

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