Europa League – Knockout Stage Draw

Posted on 20 Dec, 2012, by in Soccer

Atletico Madrid Europa League 2012 e1356012652720 Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw

Always the little sister, the Europa League draw for the first knockout stage (or the round of 32) doesn’t quite have the lavishness or the controversy of the Champions League, but with names like Liverpool, Inter, Chelsea, Benfica, Ajax and Atletico Madrid, we’re in for quite a few interesting matches once the competition resumes.

Last year’s winners, Atletico Madrid, facing the harsh realities of losing to both Barcelona and Real Madrid in the same month once again do have somewhat of a difficult draw on their hands, facing Rubin Kazan of Russia. To be frank, it’s hard to describe any draw for any “superior” team being easy. Those in the Europa League are there for a reason, and the differences in quality between two sides in this competition, especially those who have qualified, are usually marginal to none.

Take for example Liverpool, who were drawn with Champions League dropouts Zenit. While the Russian side isn’t a very “together” team, their star power and individual ability make it quite a difficult draw for Brendan Rodgers, struggling to keep his team in the upper half of the table in the Premier League.

A team like Inter, who forgot what it’s like to play in this competition despite winning it several times in the past, gets a tough nut to crack in the form of Cluj, a counter attacking side with a lot of defensive problems, but still a dangerous team to face. Tottenham, possibly the strongest team from England alongside Chelsea, got drawn with Lyon, joint league leaders in France in what is possibly the most intriguing match of the draw.

The European champions, Chelsea? They’ve already declared they don’t really care for the Europa League. Beneath them, they say without actually uttering the words. Recipe for an early exit, and more pressure on Benitez. Sparta Prague do seem like a comfortable opponent to face, but with the complacency certain to pop its ugly head at some point, nothing is easy.

Team 1   Agg. Team 2   1st leg   2nd leg
BATE Borisov 22px Flag of Belarus.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 1 22px Flag of Turkey.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Fenerbahçe 14 February 21 February
Internazionale 22px Flag of Italy.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 2 22px Flag of Romania.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw CFR Cluj 14 February 21 February
Levante 22px Flag of Spain.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 3 22px Flag of Greece.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Olympiacos 14 February 21 February
Zenit St. Petersburg 22px Flag of Russia.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 4 22px Flag of England.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Liverpool 14 February 21 February
Dynamo Kyiv 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 5 22px Flag of France.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Bordeaux 14 February 21 February
Bayer Leverkusen 22px Flag of Germany.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 6 22px Flag of Portugal.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Benfica 14 February 21 February
Newcastle United 22px Flag of England.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 7 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Metalist Kharkiv 14 February 21 February
Stuttgart 22px Flag of Germany.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 8 22px Flag of Belgium %28civil%29.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Genk 14 February 21 February
Atlético Madrid 22px Flag of Spain.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 9 22px Flag of Russia.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Rubin Kazan 14 February 21 February
Ajax 22px Flag of the Netherlands.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 10 22px Flag of Romania.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Steaua București 14 February 21 February
Basel 20px Flag of Switzerland.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 11 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 14 February 21 February
Anzhi Makhachkala 22px Flag of Russia.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 12 22px Flag of Germany.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Hannover 96 14 February 21 February
Sparta Prague 22px Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 13 22px Flag of England.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Chelsea 14 February 21 February
Borussia Mönchengladbach 22px Flag of Germany.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 14 22px Flag of Italy.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Lazio 14 February 21 February
Tottenham Hotspur 22px Flag of England.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 15 22px Flag of France.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Lyon 14 February 21 February
Napoli 22px Flag of Italy.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw 16 22px Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Europa League   Knockout Stage Draw Viktoria Plzeň 14 February 21 February
 Image: Source