Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic learn next Europa League opponents

Date published: Monday 17th December 2018 12:30 - James Marshment

All three British sides still involved in the Europa League have been handed testing ties as the draw for the Round of 32 was made on Monday lunchtime.

The Premier League giants made light work of their group stages after both winning five of their six games, but will have to be on their toes to make further progress.

Maurizio Sarri’s side were handed a clash against Swedish outfit Malmo, while Unai Emery’s troops will battle Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov. Celtic, meanwhile will face LaLiga outfit Valencia, while Napoli – the fall-guys from Liverpool’s Champions League group – play FC Zurich.

The tie of the round arguably sees Lazio taking on Sevilla, while Sporting Lisbon drew Villarreal in another eye-catching clash.

Arsenal will play the second leg of their Europa League round-of-32 clash at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, February 20 2019, with the game set to kick off at 17:00, UEFA has confirmed.

Both the Gunners and London rivals Chelsea topped their respective groups and will therefore play their second legs at home – with UEFA rules stipulating the pair cannot play in the city on the same night.

Arsenal will therefore be the team whose fixture is brought forward with UEFA confirming to Press Association Sport that, as FA Cup winners, Chelsea are given priority.

The situation is clouded further as the tie cannot clash with any Champions League fixtures played on the same day, meaning Emery’s side will kick-off at 17:00.

“Due to the city clash between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC, and in order to respect the sporting criteria of the competition (both teams are seeded and have to play the return leg of their respective round of 32 ties at home), one of the two return-leg matches will be played on a Wednesday,” a UEFA statement read.

“In accordance with the principles set by the Club Competitions Committee, Chelsea FC have priority, having won the national domestic cup. Arsenal FC with therefore play their return leg in the round of 32 at home on Wednesday 20 February 2019, at 18.00 CET (17.00 GMT), irrespective of their opponents.”


The Europa League Round of 32 draw:

Viktoria Plzen v Dinamo Zagreb

Club Brugge v FC Salzburg

Rapid Vienna v Inter Milan

Slavia Prague v Genk

Krasnodar v Bayer Leverkusen

Zurich v Napoli

Malmo v Chelsea

Shakhtar Donetsk v Eintracht Frankfurt

Celtic v Valencia

Stade Rennais v Real Betis

Olympiakos v Dynamo Kiev

Lazio v Sevilla

Fenerbahce v Zenit St Petersburg

Sporting Lisbon v Villarreal

BATE Borisov v Arsenal

Galatasaray v Benfica


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