The Uefa Europa League draw took place at European football governing body headquarters in Nyon on Monday and the die is cast for the round of last 32. Europe’s second continental club showpiece has thrown up mouth-watering encounters with loads off former Euro club champions.
Two time Uefa Champions league winners Manchester United square up against Danish opponents Midtjylland. The heartbreak of early ouster from the Holy Grail of Euro action has relegated Louis van Gaal’s men to the lower end of title chase this term. If the rigours of domestic football action do not constitute a burden, the Red Devils can make a good push for the trophy in Basel.
Meanwhile, the reigning UEL champions Sevilla will lock horns against Norwegian side Molde. Unai Emery’s men possess an enviable record with back to back triumphs in this competition, as the Andalucians seek to defend the trophy they won in Warsaw against Ukrainian side Dnipro.
Elsewhere, Euro heavyweights Borussia Dortmund are up against two UCL winners Porto. This promises to be a scintillating tie as the Portuguese have an eye on earning a consolation from the current campaign, after the hiccups of early ouster from the group stage of the Champions League. Whoever wins this clash is a candidate to lift the title, as this constitutes a true test for the contention to lift the trophy in Basel comes the month of May 2016.
Other ties that are eye catching include the Liverpool versus FC Augsburg clash, where Jurgen Klopp will meet a familiar foe in the Bavarian outfit that came fifth in Bundesliga last season. Reputation will count for nothing, as the minnows will seek to claim the scalp of the illustrious opponents from Merseyside.
Tottenham Hotspurs will also face the Serie A side that ousted them from the competition last season, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men have an eye on paying the Florence outfit in their coin.
In a conclusion, time will tell in the month of February and March who will scale the last 32 hurdle to progress to the last 16 of the UEL this term.