The Round of 16 draw for this season’s UEFA Europa League is officially in the books.
While it may not have the same allure as its bigger European brother, there’s still some giants of the game present as we head into the business end of the competition.
Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, AC Milan, Rangers and Ajax are just a few of the familiar faces set to battle it out.
?? Ajax v Young Boys ??— SPORF (@Sporf) February 26, 2021
?? Dynamo Kiev v Villarreal ??
?? Roma v Shakhtar ??
?? Olympiacos v Arsenal ???????
?? Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham ???????
??????? Manchester United v AC Milan ??
?? Slavia Prague v Rangers FC ???????
?? Granada CF v Molde FK ??
? Who will be lifting the #UEL? pic.twitter.com/akqUMKqQkp
Looking ahead to the crunch fixtures, we’ve picked out five of the key narratives that could play out in the next round.
The return of Zlatan
The return of the self-proclaimed king.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan will venture to Old Trafford to play Manchester United in the next round – with the Swede impressing since his move to the Italian giants, this could be a tantalising reunion between the pair.
Revenge for the Gunners?
Last February, Olympiacos scored a dramatic late goal to knock Arsenal out of the Europa League. Now, just over twelve months on, the Gunners have been handed a golden opportunity to exact their revenge.
With the events of that night looming over the game, will Arsenal emerge victorious this time out?
Young Boys’ Ajax mountain
One of the competition’s remaining underdogs, BSC Young Boys, have been drawn to face veterans Ajax. The Dutch giants were seconds away from the UCL final less than two years ago, so the opportunity to secure European silverware may be that little bit more alluring.
Hope for Jose
Dinamo Zagreb are tough, but Jose will be firmly expecting his side to have enough to progress.
Between a favourable run of league fixtures and this tie, Spurs have a huge opportunity ahead of them to put a stop to their slide.
Speculation surrounding Mourinho’s Tottenham future has inevitably picked up pace over the last few weeks, this could be an ideal opportunity to silence his critics, at least for a little while.
The Molde dream
According to most bookmakers, Molde are the least-fancied team for the Europa League. That does mean however, that they head into their tie with Granada with nothing to really lose.
The opportunity to reconvene with a familiar face in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer further along in the competition is an added incentive too.
All of the Europa League round-of-16 games will be available to watch via the BT Sport monthly pass.
Featured image credit: Getty
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