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Premier League Sides Face Tough Opposition in Champions League and Europa League Draws

champions league europa league Premier League Sides Face Tough Opposition in Champions League and Europa League Draws

The draws for the next round of the Champions League and Europa League have been made, and there are some very tasty matches that have been picked out of the hat. Both English clubs in the Champions League face Italian opposition. Arsenal will play AC Milan, while Chelsea face Napoli.

In the Europa League, Manchester United will battle Ajax of Amsterdam, while Manchester City faces Porto, and Stoke will take on Valencia.

None of the English teams face easy opposition, by any means. But traditionally Premier League sides have done very well against Italian opposition. I’m especially interested to see if Chelsea can do what Manchester City couldn’t — which is to beat Napoli.

Arsenal, meanwhile, faces a stern test against AC Milan. If the Gunners can get past Milan and into the next round of the Champions League, they would have to be seen as a strong contender to reach the UEFA Champions League Final.

In the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, the draw is as follows (English teams in bold):

  • Lyon v APOEL,
  • Napoli v Chelsea,
  • AC Milan v Arsenal,
  • Basel v Bayern Munich,
  • Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona,
  • CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid,
  • Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica,
  • Marseille v Inter Milan.

The first legs will be played on February 14, 15, 21 and 22 while the returns will take place on March 6, 7, 13 and 14.

The draw for the final 32 of the Europa League is as follows:

  • Porto v Manchester City,
  • Ajax v Manchester United,
  • Lokomotiv Moscow v Athletic,
  • Salzburg v Metalist,
  • Stoke v Valencia,
  • Rubin v Olympiacos,
  • AZ Alkmaar v Anderlecht,
  • Lazio v Atletico Madrid,
  • Steaua v Twente,
  • Plzen v Schalke,
  • Wisla v Standard Liege,
  • Braga v Besiktas,
  • Udinese v PAOK,
  • Trabzonspor v PSV,
  • Hannover v Club Brugge,
  • Legia v Sporting.

If Manchester United beat Ajax, they will play the winner of Lokomotiv Moscow or Athletic in the round of 16. If Manchester City beats Porto, they’ll play the winner of Legia v Sporting. Last, but not least, if Stoke beats Valencia, they’ll face either Trabzonspor or PSV in the next round.

The round of 32 matches in the Europa League will be played February 16 and 23.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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