UEFA Europa League Round of 32 draw announced
Shortly after the announcement of the draw for the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA announced the fixtures for the Round-of-32 of the Europa League competition and there are a number of mouth-watering clashes to look forward to.
With the likes of Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, AS Roma, FC Schalke’04, Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Monchengladbach amongst the mix, the draw drew a lot of interest from millions of football fans worldwide and it surely did not disappoint.
The biggest talking points from the draw were Villarreal facing AS Roma, Fiorentina facing Borussia Monchengladbach while Manchester United drew Saint-Etienne in what is already being dubbed the battle of the Pogba brothers.
The mouth-watering clashes in the round-of-32 are scheduled to take place on 16th and 23rd February 2017 and are destined to take the footballing word by storm.
Hosted at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, the 32 teams were divided into two groups of 16 teams each. While the group winners from their respective groups in the Europa League as well as the 4 best 3rd placed teams entering from the UEFA Champions League were in the seeded pot, the runners-up from the Europa League group stages and the remaining 4 teams from the UEFA Champions League made up the unseeded pot.
The teams were drawn with two restrictions. First of all, no two teams from the same football association could be drawn against each other. Secondly, no two teams who had progressed from the same group in the Europa League could be pitted against each other.
Seeded Teams that qualified as winners of their respective groups in the Europa League:
Ajax (NED), APOEL (CYP), Fenerbahçe (TUR), Fiorentina (ITA), Genk (BEL), Osmanlspor (TUR), Roma (ITA), Schalke (GER), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Sparta Praha (CZE), St-Étienne (FRA), Zenit (RUS)
Teams that qualified as best third-placed teams in the UEFA Champions League:
Besiktas (TUR), København (DEN), Lyon (FRA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Unseeded Teams that qualified as the runners-up of their respective groups in the Europa League:
Anderlecht (BEL), Astra Giurgiu (ROU), Athletic Club (ESP), AZ Alkmaar (NED), Celta Vigo (ESP), Gent (BEL), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR), Krasnodar (RUS), Manchester United (ENG), Olympiacos (GRE), PAOK (GRE), Villarreal (ESP)
The remaining unseeded teams that transferred from the UEFA Champions League:
Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER), Legia Warszawa (POL), Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL), Rostov (RUS)
Here is the draw in full for you to analyse and plan accordingly:
APOEL FC vs Athletic Bilbao
Ajax vs Legia Warsaw
Zenit St. Petersburgh vs Anderlecht
Genk vs FC Astra
Saint-Etienne vs Manchester United
AS Roma vs Villarreal
FC Copenhagen vs Ludogorest Razgrad
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Celta Vigo
Osmanlispor vs Olympiacos
Tottenham Hotspur vs KAA Gent
Sparta Prague vs FC Rostov
Fenerbahce vs FC Krasnodar
AFC Fiorentina vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Olympique Lyon vs AZ Alkmaar
Besiktas vs Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Schalke vs PAOK