Dec 16, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
Europe’s other competition held its draw shortly after the UEFA Champions League pulled the names for its Round of 16, and the Europa League will have plenty of juice for supporters come Feb. 20 and 27.
We’ve put the Round of 32 matches into pairings to show which winners will face-off in the Round of 16:
Dnipro v Tottenham
PAOK v Benfica
Spurs were one of only two teams to go 6-0 in group play, boasting a 15-2 goal differential, and will face a Juande Ramos-led Dnipro squad that lost to Basel in last year’s Round of 32. Benfica were runners-up in 2012/13 and face the Greek club who lost out deep into tiebreakers with AZ Alkmaar in Group L.
Real Betis v Rubin Kazan
Maribor v Sevilla
Kazan and Maribor finished 1/2 in Group D but could faceoff again if they get by their Spanish opposition.
Swansea v Napoli
Porto v Eintracht Frankfurt
Welsh wonders Swansea will not be pleased to see a Napoli team that almost pulled off a miracle in a brutal Champions League group with Dortmund, Marseille and Arsenal. Porto earns a Frankfurt side that went 5-1 in Group F.
Viktoria Plzen v Shakhtar Donetsk
Chornomorets v Lyon
An All-Champions League Group Stage match-up highlights the pair. Always dangerous Shakhtar Donetsk’s only two wins in Champions League group play were against group bottom dwellers Real Sociedad, but they did draw Manchester United and Leverkusen, while Plzen stayed in Europe by virtue of a tiebreaker in their split with CSKA Moscow. Lyon had little trouble advancing from Group I and will face Ukrainian Group B runners-up Chornomorets Odesa.
Lazio v Ludogorets
Dynamo Kiev v Valencia
Brutal pairing, as Lazio draws a strong Bulgarian squad in Ludogorets Razgrad and Kiev is forced to tangle with Valencia, who had little trouble in topping a Group A in which all four teams managing 6-plus points.
Esbjerg v Fiorentina
Juventus v Trabzonspor
Surely fans of Serie A — and football — are interested in Fiorentina and Juve advancing from this pair of matches, but Trabzonspor won Group J with draws home and away against Lazio. Esbjerg is no pushover, sweeping its Group C matches that did not involve unbeaten Red Bull Salzburg.
Ajax v FC Salzburg
Maccabi Tel-Aviv v Basel
If there’s a pairing of death, it’s this one. Ajax and Basel come slumming out of the Champions League only to find two strong squads waiting for them. Salzburg roared through its group while stingy Maccabi Tel-Aviv allowed just five goals in six group play matches.
Anzhi v Genk
Slovan Liberec v AZ Alkmaar
Anyone’s pairing, even an Anzhi team that managed a mere four goals through six matches and still made it through the pairing. An Alkmaar versus Genk match would be a nice reward for the league.
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