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Slavia Praha vs Arsenal: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings

Slavia Praha, who have already eliminated two British clubs in this campaign, host 2018/19 runners-up Arsenal with their quarter-final level at 1-1 after the first leg.

The first leg ended 1-1
The first leg ended 1-1 Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Slavia Praha, who have already eliminated two British clubs in this UEFA Europa League campaign, host 2018/19 runners-up Arsenal in the Czech capital with the outcome of this quarter-final in the balance after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

• Slavia made up for a UEFA Champions League play-off defeat in their opening European tie of 2020/21 by convincingly coming through a UEFA Europa League section headed by Bayer Leverkusen before knocking out England's Leicester City in the round of 32 (0-0 h, 2-0 a) and Scotland's Rangers in the round of 16 (1-1 h, 2-0 a).

• Arsenal claimed maximum points in the autumn from UEFA Europa League Group B, doing the double over Rapid Wien, Dundalk and fellow qualifiers Molde while scoring 20 goals – the most ever by an English team in a UEFA Europa League group – before edging out Benfica in the round of 32 (1-1 a, 3-2 h) and Olympiacos in the round of 16 (3-1 a, 0-1 h).

Highlights: Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Praha (2 mins)
Highlights: Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Praha (2 mins)

Previous meetings
• The goals came late in north London last time out as Arsenal substitute Nicolas Pépé broke away to give his side the lead in the 86th minute, only for Tomáš Holeš to head Slavia level from an added-time corner, his first European goal enabling the Czech champions to stretch their unbeaten run in this season's knockout phase to five matches.

• The clubs' only previous pairing in UEFA competition was in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, a 7-0 victory for Arsène Wenger's Arsenal over Karel Jarolím's Slavia in London – still the Gunners' biggest European home win and the Czech club's heaviest continental defeat – preceding a goalless draw at the Strahov Stadium in Prague.

• Slavia's victory at Leicester in the round of 32 – sealed by second-half goals from Lukáš Provod and Abdallah Sima – was one of only two wins in 14 UEFA matches against English opposition (D4 L8) and also their first success in five two-legged knockout ties against English sides. The most recent defeat came against Arsenal's city rivals Chelsea in Slavia's only previous UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie, in 2018/19, when Jindřich Trpišovský's team were beaten both in Prague (0-1) and London (3-4), midfielder Petr Ševčík scoring a double in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. The Czech side's home record against English visitors is W1 D2 L4, with no wins in the last six matches.

• Arsenal have never lost to Czech opposition (W7 D2). Their four previous matches in the Czech Republic have all taken place in Prague, that goalless draw against Slavia preceded by three wins against their city rivals Sparta Praha. The Gunners have yet to concede a goal in the country.

Highlights: Rangers 0-2 Slavia Praha (2 mins)
Highlights: Rangers 0-2 Slavia Praha (2 mins)

Form guide
Slavia
• Champions of the Czech Republic for the third time in four years last season, Slavia missed out on a second successive UEFA Champions League group stage adventure this term when, led again by coach Trpišovský, they were defeated by Midtjylland in the play-offs (0-0 h, 1-4 a).

• Fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season, behind Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Internazionale, Slavia finished second in their UEFA Europa League group this term, a run of four successive wins from Matchday 2 to Matchday 5 enabling them to finish runners-up to Leverkusen – who closed the section by beating them 4-0 in Germany – ahead of Hapoel Beer-Sheva and Nice.

• Victory over Rangers – which featured spectacular goals in each leg from Romanian international Nicolae Stanciu – took the club into the last eight of the UEFA Europa League for the second time in three seasons. Slavia's last two European quarter-finals have both resulted in defeats by English clubs – Chelsea two years ago and Leeds United in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup (0-3 a, 2-1 h) – but they did win their first, overcoming Roma on away goals after extra time in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup (2-0 h, 1-3 a).

• Slavia took maximum points from their home games in Group C – against Leverkusen (1-0), Nice (3-2) and Hapoel (3-0) – before drawing their first legs in the Eden Arena against both Leicester and Rangers. Although they are unbeaten in Prague in this European campaign, they have won only four of their last 11 home fixtures in continental competition, losing the same number, including all three in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Slavia have won six of the eight UEFA competition ties in which they have drawn the away first leg, their only two eliminations having been on the away goals rule after a goalless first leg. They have never previously recorded a 1-1 away draw in the first leg but have succeeded on all four occasions when the scoreline has been 2-2, most recently against Sevilla in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 32, when they dramatically won the return fixture 4-3 after extra time in Prague.

Great Arsenal Europa League goals
Great Arsenal Europa League goals

Arsenal
• Eighth in the 2019/20 Premier League, Arsenal ensured a 25th consecutive season in Europe by winning the FA Cup under new manager Mikel Arteta – the club's record 14th triumph in the competition – with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the final. Their third successive UEFA Europa League campaign was ended in the round of 32 by Olympiacos.

• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 seasons in a row from 1998/99 to 2016/17, Arsenal reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt in 2017/18, losing to eventual winners Atlético de Madrid, before going one step further and making it to the 2018/19 final, where they were defeated 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku. They have been group winners on all four UEFA Europa League appearances – an unprecedented feat – and this season became the 11th team in the competition to top their section with maximum points thanks to wins against Rapid (2-1 a, 4-1 h), Dundalk (3-0 h, 4-2 a) and Molde (4-1 h, 3-0 a).

• Arsenal have won both of their previous UEFA Europa League quarter-final ties, beating CSKA Moskva in 2017/18 (4-1 h, 2-2 a) and Napoli in 2018/19 (2-0 h, 1-0 a). Although they remain unbeaten at this stage, this is the first time they have failed to win the home first leg.

• The Gunners are undefeated in 11 UEFA Europa League away games (W8 D3) – a joint competition record that they share with Fiorentina and Lazio – since Rennes beat them in the 2018/19 round of 16 first leg. Their overall away record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W6 D2 L3, with four wins and a draw in the last five matches.

• Arsenal's record in UEFA competition ties when they have drawn the first leg at home is W3 L4, with defeats in the last three such ties, most recently against Atlético de Madrid in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League semi-final (1-1 h, 0-1 a). When the scoreline has been 1-1, they have won two out of four, the victories both being secured with 1-0 away wins – against Juventus in the 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final and Auxerre in the quarter-final of the same competition 15 years later. The other defeat was by Liverpool in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League quarter-final (2-4 a).

Links and trivia
• Arsenal defender David Luiz was in the Chelsea starting XI that beat Slavia 4-3 at Stamford Bridge in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg, with his fellow Brazilian Willian coming on as a second-half substitute. Willian had provided the assist for the winning goal in the first leg in Prague, where Luiz was an unused replacement.

• Slavia general manager Stanislav Vlček played for the club in the 7-0 defeat at Arsenal Stadium in October 2007.

• Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played 60 minutes of LOSC Lille's 5-1 UEFA Europa League group stage win at Slavia on 1 October 2009.

• Pépé and Slavia's Simon Deli are both current Ivory Coast internationals.

• Czech internationals Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal both joined Arsenal's London rivals West Ham United from Slavia in 2020.

• Slavia maintained their unbeaten record in this season's Czech Liga on Sunday, beating closest pursuers Sparta 2-0 at the Eden Arena to open up a 17-point lead at the top of the table and prolong their undefeated home record in all competitions this term to 21 matches (W17 D4). Arsenal, meanwhile, won 3-0 at Sheffield United in the Premier League to end a four-match winless streak in domestic and European competition.

• Arsenal are now the highest-scoring English club in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, with 104 goals – one more than local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

• The winners of this tie will face either Villarreal or Dinamo Zagreb in the semi-final.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Slavia's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L0:
5-4 v Schalke, 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Žilina, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round

• Arsenal's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
4-5 v Valencia, 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final
3-2 v Sampdoria, 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final
1-4 v Galatasaray, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final
7-6 v Roma, 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16