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Europa League Round of 32 Draw


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12pm (GMT) today. 

Group winners:
Villarreal
Dynamo Kiev
Sporting Braga
AC Milan
Atalanta
Lokomotiv Moscow
Viktoria Plzen
Arsenal
RB Salzburg
Athletic Bilbao
Lazio
Zenit

Runners up
Astana
Partizan Belgrade
Ludogorets
AEK Athens
Lyon
Copenhagen
Steaua Bucharest
Red Star Belgrade
Marseille
Ostersunds
Nice
Real Sociedad

CL dropouts:
CSKA Moscow
Celtic
Atletico Madrid
Sporting Lisbon
Spartak Moscow
Napoli
RB Leipzig
Borussia Dortmund

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Some interesting ties could come out of the draw. But along with that, there's some absolute dross who have made it through this season and you'd expect if they came up against a massive club, they'd get disposed of quite easily.

One thing I have only found out today is that if you won your Europa League group, you could face one of the 4 worst 3rd placed CL teams. And if you finished second, you could face one of the 4 best 3rd placed CL teams.

Which means Arsenal could face someone like Dortmund or Napoli or get a Europa League 2nd-placed finisher and get someone easier like Ostersunds or AEK or Astana.

Comparatively, Celtic could find themselves getting someone like AC Milan, Atalanta, Atletico, Sporting Lisbon or someone relatively easier like Viktoria Plzen. 

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Braga, Plzen, Salzburg and Atalanta would be pretty even contests. Anyone bigger and we're banking on the opponent not taking the competition as seriously.

Edit:a bit gutted at some of the opponents that are ruled out. Ludogorets, Copenhagen, Steaua, Ostersunds and Red Star would obviously all be reasonable opportunities. Plus even if it meant getting knocked out instantly, drawing Dortmund would be a pretty cool experience. The Paul Lambert Derby.

Edited by Inverted
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Borussia Dortmund vs Atalanta
OGC Nice vs Lokomotiv Moscow
FC Copenhagen vs Atletico Madrid
Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao
AEK Athens vs Dynamo Kiev
Celtic vs Zenit St Petersburg
Napoli vs RB Leipzig
Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow
Lyon vs Villarreal
Real Sociedad vs RB Salzburg
Partizan Belgrade vs Viktoria Plzen
Steaua Bucharest vs Lazio
Ludogorets vs AC Milan
Astana vs Sporting Lisbon
Ostersunds vs Arsenal 
Marseille vs Braga

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Honestly no idea what level Zenit are on these days but it will be tough to get anything regardless. Not as bad as getting Arsenal or Napoli etc but still not got much expectation. 

Maybe if we play Dembele, Edouard, Boyata, Ntcham, Sinclair and Kouassi in Russia we can get them to riot and get disqualified.

Edited by Inverted
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Napoli should win and I'll even say comfortably too. I just don't rate the Germans unless it's Bayern. Although I also think that they could bin it off to focus on Serie A. It's going to be a pick of battles for them.

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50 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Honestly no idea what level Zenit are on these days but it will be tough to get anything regardless. Not as bad as getting Arsenal or Napoli etc but still not got much expectation. 

Maybe if we play Dembele, Edouard, Boyata, Ntcham, Sinclair and Kouassi in Russia we can get them to riot and get disqualified.

Zenit are good and more balanced of a team than Lokomotiv. Lokomotiv really just play through Miranchuk and Farfán where as Zenit have all the best players from the Argentinian league in the last 4 years. Dark horse for me.

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2 hours ago, Blue said:

Zenit are good and more balanced of a team than Lokomotiv. Lokomotiv really just play through Miranchuk and Farfán where as Zenit have all the best players from the Argentinian league in the last 4 years. Dark horse for me.

The only encouragement I can find is 

1: they lost away against Rosenberg and we drew :D

2: I'm not sure but I don't think their league starts until after the R32, so maybe there might be an edge in preparedness. Also maybe not. 

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1 minute ago, Inverted said:

The only encouragement I can find is 

1: they lost away against Rosenberg and we drew :D

2: I'm not sure but I don't think their league starts until after the R32, so maybe there might be an edge in preparedness. Also maybe not. 

I've not actually seen them this season I'll admit but they have players which I have well seen and it certainly wouldn't surprise me if they at least went far.

This competition can be a bit of a joke sometimes. If Rangers with Kirk Broadfoot and Steve Naismith in the starting lineups can make the final, Zenit most definitely can.

Very good point on number 2 though. That could well hurt them.

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