The draw for the first knockout round of the Europa League has been made with the three Dutch sides involved handed tough opponents.

  • By Michael Bell
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eul trophyFeyenoord, who topped their group and were seeded for the draw, have been drawn with Italian giants Roma, who finished third behind Bayern Munich and Manchester City in their Champions League group. The Roman club will bring familiar faces to De Kuip, with Dutchmen Kevin Strootman and Urby Emanuelson on the books of the Italian side.

Fred Rutten praised their opponents after the draw,  “AS Roma has a very good team and it is not for nothing that they sit in second place in Serie A. In my eyes, AS Roma is not a typical Italian team, because they are offensively set.”

PSV, who finished second in their group behind Dinamo Moscow will once again face a Russian side after the were picked to face Zenit st Petersburg. The Russian champions were knocked out of the Champions League, and will pose a considerable threat with players such as Hulk and Axel Witsel.

PSV director Marcel Brands was slightly disappointed with the draw, “Russia again.”

“I hoped secretly Internazionale. Zenit is a very good team, number one in Russia. But they will not be pleased with us.”

Ajax, who dropped down from the Champions League, have been handed, on paper, the easiest drawn in the form of Legia Warsaw. The Polish side topped their Europa League group which consisted of Trabzonspor, Lokern and Metalist Kharkiv. After racist chanting was heard at the home tie with Lokern, Legia have been handed a supporter ban, and the away leg will be played in an empty stadium.

Coach Frank de Boer said on the draw, “I know they had nearly played Champions League. They won against Celtic but had selected the wrong player. That means they are pretty good.”

The ties will be played on the 19th and 26th of February.

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