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UEFA Europa League 2016/17 QF Draw: Manchester United travel to Belgium for the first leg

The draw for the quarter-finals was decided

Europa League
Who will lift the coveted trophy?

What’s the story?

The draw for the UEFA Europa League was held on the 17th of March. The teams who remain now are Manchester United, Ajax, Celta Vigo, Lyon, Anderlecht, Genk, Schalke 04, and Besiktas. Manchester United were handed a tricky draw in the quarter-finals as they travel to Belgium to face Anderlecht. The other draws also seem to be interesting matchups.

Previously...

There were 16 teams competing to qualify for the quarter-finals and there were definitely surprises as well. AS Roma against Lyon was probably the highlight of the round of 16 with the French side coming out victorious, winning 5-4 on aggregate.

The only Spanish representative in the quarterfinal stage of the competition is Celta Vigo who have been playing some fine football under Eduardo Berizzo. They overcame Krasnodar 4-1 on aggregate.

Two teams from Belgium who are the major representative in this round made it through. Genk and Anderlecht won their respective games to progress. The headliner of this quarter-final draw is without a doubt Manchester United who defeated Rostov last night to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

The heart of the matter

The UEFA Europa League draw always takes place right after the UEFA Champions League draw as was the case this time as well. The draws are held in Nyon, Switzerland which is the headquarters of UEFA.

Manchester United faced Liverpool in the round of 16 last season when they were knocked out of the competition but this team they have made it one step further. Lyon are probably the team to avoid given the way they have been playing in this season’s edition.

They overcame Roma without much trouble and also produced the biggest scoreline of the competitions so far dispatching AZ Alkmaar 7-1 in the round of 32. But United are the bookies' favourites to win the competition.

Here is the final draw:

 UEFA Europa League quarterfinal draw
1RSC Anderlecht vs Manchester United
2Celta de Vigo vs Genk
3AFC Ajax vs FC Schalke
4Lyon vs Besiktas

What’s next?

After the draws are announced the teams will face off for the first leg on the 13th of April while the second leg will be on the 20th of the same month.

Author’s take

There is no easy draw when teams reach this stage of the competition but Manchester United will probably be happy not to be playing either of Celta Vigo or Lyon. Anderlecht suffered their biggest ever defeat in Europe against the Red Devils when they lost 10-0 in 1956 so Mourinho will be rubbing his hands in anticipation of this one

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