It’s very rare that you see Europe’s top flight competition lacks Europe’s best club for the latter stages of the competition. There are only six top flight teams from Europe’s “Big Five” domestic leagues are left in the Europa League last 16 tie. Manchester United is representing England’s Premier League, Celta de Vigo is representing Spain’s Laliga, Roma is representing Italy’s Serie A, Lyon is representing France Ligue 1, and Germany’s Bundesliga is topping the list with two representatives in Schalke & Borussia Monchengladbach.
Other ten belongs to association of Russia with two clubs; Krasnodar & Rostov, association of Belgium with three clubs; Anderlecht, Genk & Gent, Greece Olympiacos, Denmark’s København, Netherlands Ajax, Turkey Besiktas, and Cyprus Apoel FC. The top associations clubs must be happy with the tie, because they haven’t got the real deal in last 16 to deal with.
The official result of the #UELdraw
Best tie? pic.twitter.com/xqxWnW3xCD
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 24, 2017
Only tie which came bitterly for Germany’s old fierce rival Monchengladbach vs Schalke, and Roma vs Lyon tie. These clubs really have a tough job to get ahead, but the other two left from top five; Celta Vigo and Manchester United would be pleased to see them battle it out against each other. It will only left them with two other rivals from top five association, if they survive themselves for the next round.
If German association clubs are colliding against each-other, and Roma will fight out against Lyon, Celta and Manchester United don’t have easiest opponents to fight out. Both are tied against the Russians clubs; Krasnodar & Rostov respectively. Krasnodar has already eliminated Fenerbahce, and they are away in first leg, which will make Celta Vigo life tough in Russia in second leg.
Manchester United have bigger problems, because they will be facing FC Rostov – who have already tasted Uefa Champions League football this season. They have had success against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, registering a victory and draw respectively against them. Rostov had already drawn against the top team, and Manchester United visit to Olimp-2 will be a cherry on top for their home fans. It will be a difficult second leg for the United because a day later they are bound to play Chelsea in the FA Cup sixth round tie.
Gent vs Genk is another top rivalry belonging to the same nation association. It may not bring international supporters, but domestically it will bring huge revenue for both of the clubs. Apoel Nicosia is tied up against Anderlecht, two of the regulars in Europe. Ajaz, Europe’s one of the oldest academy will be tested against Denmark’s København, and Olympiacos will be hoping for their European glory against Besiktas.