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Winners weighing up next opponents

Enticing fixtures lie in store in the UEFA Europa League after Thursday's games clarified the last-16 picture, including a tie between ex-European champions SL Benfica and Olympique de Marseille.

Hatem Ben Arfa is congratulated by his Marseille team-mates after scoring against København
Hatem Ben Arfa is congratulated by his Marseille team-mates after scoring against København ©Getty Images

The field has narrowed to 16 teams in the UEFA Europa League following Thursday's games and the victors can already begin dreaming of the next round, with a number of prestigious ties in prospect.

Two former European champions will lock horns when swashbuckling SL Benfica take on Olympique de Marseille, in a tie that reunites Benfica forward Javier Saviola with his old coach at AS Monaco FC, Didier Deschamps. Both clubs hope to appear in the Hamburg final and so, naturally, do home side Hamburger SV, who face RSC Anderlecht in a repeat of the 1977 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup showpiece, which the German club won 2-0.

Liverpool FC have appeared in their fair share of European finals and they will be looking to take a step closer to yet another when they face LOSC Lille Métropole. Their Premier League compatriots Fulham FC are also involved after collecting the notable scalp of last season's UEFA Cup winners FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and they come up against Serie A titans Juventus. Among the other ties that catch the eye, Valencia CF take on Werder Bremen and Club Atlético de Madrid meet Sporting Clube de Portugal.

The round of 16 ties will be played on 11 and 18 March with the winners progressing to the draw for the rest of the competition, which takes place in Nyon from 13.00CET on 19 March. The quarter-finals will be played on 1 and 8 April, the semis on 22 and 29 April and the Hamburg final on Wednesday 12 May.

2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw
First leg: 11 March
Second leg: 18 March
Hamburger SV (GER) v RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
FC Rubin Kazan (RUS) v VfL Wolfsburg (GER)
Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP) v Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)
SL Benfica (POR) v Olympique de Marseille (FRA)
Panathinaikos FC (GRE) v R. Standard de Liège (BEL)
LOSC Lille Métropole (FRA) v Liverpool FC (ENG)
Juventus (ITA) v Fulham FC (ENG)
Valencia CF (ESP) v Werder Bremen (GER)

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