The next obstacle in FC Shakhtar Donetsk's bid to follow their victory in the last UEFA Cup with success in the inaugural UEFA Europa League will come with a round of 32 tie against Fulham FC after today's draw.
Like all section winners and the four UEFA Champions League sides with the best record in their group, Mircea Lucescu's charges will be at home in the second leg. The side Shakhtar beat in Istanbul, Werder Bremen, were also among the seeds and they will travel to FC Twente while FC Salzburg, the only side to finish the group stage with a 100 per cent record, were paired with R. Standard de Liège. Hamburger SV, hoping to reach the final at their Hamburg Arena home, face PSV Eindhoven.
Among the eight sides transferring from the UEFA Champions League, Liverpool FC will take on FC Unirea Urziceni, Olympique de Marseille meet FC København and excitingly, Juventus play AFC Ajax. The latter pair have won one apiece in European Champion Clubs' Cup finals between them, and together contribute six of the 16 titles in the élite competition accrued by the last-32 teams. Liverpool, OM, Hamburg, PSV and SL Benfica contribute to that tally, and the latter will play Hertha BSC Berlin.
Round of 16
The round of 16 draw, with no seeding or country protection, was also made on Friday and there are some mouthwatering potential lineups. The victors in Ajax's tie with Juve will meet either Fulham or Shakhtar, and if Valencia CF manage to negotiate Club Brugge KV they could come up against Bremen.
Road to Hamburg
The winners of the round of 16 ties will progress to the draw for the rest of the competition in Nyon starting at 13.00CET on 19 March. The quarter-finals are played on 1 and 8 April, the semis on 22 and 29 April and the Hamburg final on Wednesday 12 May.
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