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Europa League round of 32 draw reaction

Europa League round of 32 draw reaction
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Chelsea, Arsenal, Napoli and Inter are the teams to beat in the Europa League and judging by the draw, the round of 32 is not when they will be beaten.

The group winners:
Krasnodar – Bayer Leverkusen
Club Brugge – Salzburg
Fenerbahce – Zenit St. Petersburg
Viktoria Plzen – Dinamo Zagreb
BATE Borisov – Arsenal
Stade Rennais – Real Betis
Sporting Lisbon – Villarreal
Shakhtar Donetsk – Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague – Genk
Lazio – Sevilla
Olympiacos – Dynamo Kyiv
Malmo – Chelsea

The most notable names entering Monday’s Europa League round of 32 draw were Chelsea and Arsenal and they came out of it relatively satisfied, as Malmo and BATE Borisov are hardly opponents who can match them. The most reputable club entering the draw was Sevilla and the Andalusians weren’t so lucky. They will have to square off against goal-loving Lazio in what will surely be an exciting contest. Last season’s surprise semi-finalists Salzburg are at it again. They were dominant in what was supposed to be tough group alongside RB Leipzig, Celtic and Rosenborg. Club Brugge is the team they’ll face next and based on everything they’ve shown, they’re bound to progress.

Fenerbahce – Zenit St. Petersburg, Sporting Lisbon – Villarreal, Olympiacos – Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk – Eintracht Frankfurt require the most attention out of all 16 matchups. The two Ukrainian teams didn’t have much luck as they both drew extremely challenging opponents. Eintracht Frankfurt have been doing well without Niko Kovac and were actually the only other team besides Salzburg to go perfect in the group stage, whereas Olympiacos famously knocked AC Milan in the last game in Athens last week. Fenerbahce disappointed in a group they were expected to conquer with ease and a matchup with a quality side such as Zenit is not what the doctor ordered. An Iberian Peninsula clash is always interesting and Sporting vs. Villarreal is no exception. Separating the two sides is difficult, but based on how this season has gone so far, Sporting should be the one to move on.

The others:
The best ranked Champions League third-placed teams received a discount and avoided the Europa League group winners. These are the remaining four matchups.

Rapid Vienna – Inter
Zurich – Napoli
Celtic – Valencia
Galatasaray – Benfica

None of the favorites should have a problem disposing of their adversaries, especially Inter and Napoli.