Friday 13 December 2019

United await last 32 fate in Europa League

Manchester United sealed their status as Group L winners with a 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.
That result means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds will be seeded in the draw for the knockout stages and join divisional rivals Wolves and Arsenal in the hat for the last 32. Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers are also there to make it a full house of British sides in the tournament.

The Reds will be paired off with one of the unseeded teams and there are 14 possible opponents including Getafe, Sporting Lisbon, Eintracht Frankfurt and Roma who all finished second in their respective sections. As well as playing one of the runners up, United's status as group winners ensures we will play the second leg at Old Trafford.

We could also play Club Brugge, Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos and Shakhtar Donetsk, who dropped out of the Champions League. We cannot be drawn against the Gunners or the men from Molineux as fellow English sides, or AZ who emerged from our group. There are some other big hitters in the draw, with Ajax, Romelu Lukaku's Inter Milan and Benfica. The Reds cannot face any of those three teams at this stage.

When asked about the importance of qualification in top spot, United manager Solskjaer said: "It's vital for us, it means we can have the second leg at home and we will play a lower seeded team.
"You'll always play against the good sides at some point anyway and with our luck in the draws we're going to get a good team."

Monday's draw takes place at 1pm at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

The full list of teams we can face in the next round are: APOEL, FC Copenhagen, Getafe, Sporting Lisbon, Cluj, Eintracht Frankfurt, Rangers, Ludogorets, Wolfsburg, Roma, Club Brugge, Olympiakos, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen.
The other 17 sides in the draw are: Sevilla, Malmo, Basel, LASK, Celtic, Arsenal, Porto, Espanyol, Gent, Istanbul Basaksehir, Braga, RB Salzburg, Inter Milan, Benfica, Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Wolves.

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