The draw for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 has been completed with favourites Barcelona set to face Turkish Galatasaray.

UEFA have announced the match-ups for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 stage after the draw was made the governing body’s headquarters in Nyom, Switzerland, earlier on Friday.

The format for the Europa League has changed this season. In the past, all qualifying teams from group stages would be drawn with the third-placed teams from the Champions League groups in the Round of 32.

But UEFA introduced a playoff stage this season wherein the clubs falling down from the premier competition battled with second-placed teams in the Europa League groups to enter the Round of 16 stage where they meet the group winners. The playoffs ended on Thursday night, with teams like Barcelona, Rangers, Sevilla, among others getting through.

And the draw for the Round of 16 was completed earlier on Friday, with some interesting match-ups being thrown our way. Barcelona, who mauled Napoli in the playoffs, will come face to face with Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Catalans are the biggest team in the competition and are tipped as the favourites to go all the way, but will face a tricky challenge.

As for the only Premier League representatives in the competition, West Ham United, who won their group easily, will have to face the winners of the 2019/20 Europa League in Sevilla. Julen Lopetegui’s side are challenging for the La Liga title this season and will be a big hurdle for David Moyes’ men.

Rangers, who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the playoffs by eliminating Borussia Dortmund, will come up against Serbian outfit Crvena Zvezda. In another exciting match-up, Atalanta will face off against Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen in what could be an exciting contest for the neutrals.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig are drawn to face Russian outfit Spartak Moscow while AS Monaco take on Portuguese outfit SC Braga. FC Porto will come up against Olympique Lyon in another Portugal vs France match-up. Real Betis and Eintracht Frankfurt will square off against each other in the final fixture.

The first leg matches of the Round of 16 are scheduled for March 10. However, Porto and Betis will play their home matches on March 9 to avoid clashes with Braga and Sevilla. The second leg encounters are set to go down on March 17.

Leave A Comment...

*