Four teams from four different countries reached the semifinals of the 2012-2013 Europa League; one from Switzerland (Basel), one from Portugal (Benfica), one from England (Chelsea) and one Turkish side (Fenerbahce).
The semifinals draw will be held on April 12, while the matches will be both held on the same day, unlike the Champions League. The first legs will be held on April 25, and the second leg comes a week later, on May 2.
Basel reach the semifinal of the competition for the first time ever, currently involved in a battle for the title with Grasshoppers in Switzerland, leading the table with a one point advantage. They finished second in their group stage behind Genk, leaving Videoton and Sporting behind. In the knockout stages they’ve beaten Dnipro and Zenit before needing a penalty shootout to get rid of Tottenham in the quarterfinals. Marco Streller, with four goals, is their top scorer in the competition.
Benfica haven’t been this far up the competition since 1983, when they reached the final of the UEFA Cup, losing to Anderlecht. They’re currently in the lead of the Portuguese league. They came from the Champions League, where they finished behind Barcelona and Celtic in the group stage. In the knockout stages they got through Bayer Leverkusen and Bordeaux before knocking out Newcastle in the quarterfinals. Oscar Cardozo is their top scorer in the competition this season with 4 goals.
The European Champions haven’t been to the UEFA Cup/Europa League semifinal since 1966, when it was called the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Another Champions League dropout, Chelsea finished behind Juventus and Shakhtar in their group. They’ve beaten Sparta Prague, Bordeaux and Rubin Kazan to reach the semis. Fernando Torres with 4 goals is their top scorer in the competition.
Fenerbahce have never gone this far in a major European competition before. Meanwhile, in the Turkish league, they’re trailing Galatasaray in the title race by four points. They finished first in the group stage, ahead of Monchengladbach, Marseille and Limassol. In the knockout stages they’ve beaten BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen, before beating Lazio in the quarterfinals. Dirk Kuyt, Moussa Sow, Cristian Baroni and Caner Erkin all have 3 goals so far, leading the team in scoring.