Europa League last 32 draw: Lokomotiv to play Turkish side Fenerbahce, Man Utd to face Midtjylland
Lokomotiv Moscow have been drawn against Fenerbahçe in the last 32 of the Europa League. It will be the first game to be played between teams from Russia and Turkey since the downing of a Russian warplane on the Turkey-Syria border in November.
The situation between the two nations remains tense almost a month after the incident, with the response from both political camps to the draw sure to be fascinating. At the end of November Lokomotiv as well as other Russian football clubs canceled their planned winter training camps in Turkey.
English giants Manchester United will take on Danish champions Midtjylland. The Danes had never qualified for a major European competition before this season and will be looking forward to locking horns with their illustrious opponents.
Krasnodar, in what will be their first ever appearance in the last 32, have been drawn against Sparta Prague, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been paired with German side Augsburg, who dramatically made it through to the knockout stages after victory against Partizan Belgrade last week.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville will begin his first Europa League campaign as coach of Valencia against Austrian side Rapid Wien. The Spanish club were one of eight teams to drop down from the Champions League last week.
Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat German side Werder Bremen in the 2009 Europa League final to become the first and only Ukrainian club to lift the trophy, have been drawn with another German side Schalke 04.
Neutral fans will be excited by the prospect of Borussia Dortmund v Porto, with this being the first meeting of the two European heavyweights, both of whom have played in Champions League finals in the last 15 years.
UEFA have said that the first legs will be played on February 18 with the seeded teams playing away from home, while the return fixtures will be played on February 25.
Full Europa League last 32 draw:
Sevilla v Molde
Augsburg v Liverpool
Sparta Prague v Krasnodar
Villarreal v Napoli
Valencia v Rapid Wien
Sion v Braga
Galatasaray v Lazio
Fenerbahçe v Lokomotiv Moscow
Saint-Etienne v Basel
Fiorentina v Tottenham Hotspur
Shakhtar Donetsk v Schalke
Marseille v Athletic Bilbao
Borussia Dortmund v Porto
Anderlecht v Olympiacos
Midtjylland v Manchester United
Sporting Lisbon v Bayer Leverkusen