MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 02:23:36

The major talking points in the Europa League knockout stages

The major talking points in the Europa League knockout stages
© Reuters
The remaining British teams now know who they will face in February.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Celtic learned their Europa League last-32 opponents on Monday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points following the draw for the first knockout round, to be played in February.

Gunners having an early night

With Arsenal and Chelsea both seeded for the first knockout round, UEFA announced ahead of the draw that Arsenal's second-leg tie would take place a day earlier, due to regulations stating the pair cannot play in the same city on the same night. UEFA also said the kick-off time would be 5pm, to avoid a clash with Champions League fixtures. European football's governing body reneged on that after fan unrest, pushing kick-off back 24 hours and 55 minutes. The Gunners, who wanted an 8pm start, said: "We appreciate this kick-off time may present difficulties for our supporters."

Familiar opposition for Arsenal

Aleksandr Hleb
Former Arsenal midfielder Aleksandr Hleb, right, is now at BATE Borisov and played against Chelsea earlier this season (Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal played BATE Borisov in the Europa League group stage in 2017-18, winning 4-2 in Belarus and 6-0 at home. Former Arsenal midfielder Aleksandr Hleb is now in the BATE squad, at the age of 37, and played against Chelsea in the group stage this season. The Blues beat BATE 3-1 at home and 1-0 in Belarus. Celtic's opponents Valencia have former Arsenal players Gabriel Paulista and Francis Coquelin in their ranks, plus on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.

Bhoys braced for Valencia

Celtic suffered for finishing second in Group B, behind Red Bull Salzburg, by being drawn with Valencia. Like Celtic in earlier rounds, Valencia parachuted into the competition from the Champions League but the Spaniards may not be the force they once were. They are a lowly 14th in LaLiga and finished behind Juventus and Manchester United in their Champions League group. However, they did beat United at the Mestalla, although both sides' fate was already sealed.

Pedigree proposition

Malmo boss Uwe Rosler was Brentford manager when they took Chelsea to a FA Cup replay
Malmo boss Uwe Rosler was Brentford manager when they took Chelsea to an FA Cup replay (Nick Potts/PA)

Malmo are a familiar name in continental competition and reached the European Cup final in 1979, losing to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. Their former players include Zlatan Ibrahimovic and one former manager is Roy Hodgson, now at Crystal Palace. The current boss is former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler. Rosler has managed four English teams, the first of them Brentford, whose Griffin Park home is just six miles from Chelsea's Stamford Bridge. Rosler's Brentford took Chelsea to an FA Cup fourth-round replay in 2013.

It might have been tougher

There are 10 former winners in the last 32, including Chelsea. Some big sides have been drawn against each other. Five-time champions Sevilla play Lazio and former winners Shakhtar Donetsk and Eintracht Frankfurt meet each other, while Benfica and Galatasaray have been drawn in opposition.

Share this article now:
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has a laugh during his presser on October 19, 2018
Read Next:
Chelsea, Arsenal handed favourable EL draw
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account