Europa League 2013-14 Draw: Rounds of 32 and 16 Fixtures Announced

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Europa League 2013-14 Draw: Rounds of 32 and 16 Fixtures Announced
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Following the announcement of the 2013/14 Champions League round of 16 fixtures, Monday afternoon brought the turn of the Europa League to take centre stage.

In total, there are 32 clubs still in the running for the prize currently held by Chelsea, but that number will be quickly whittled down to just eight with the next two rounds of fixtures now decided.

Europa League Round of 32 Fixtures
Home Team (1st leg) vs. Away Team (1st leg)
FC Dnipro vs. Tottenham
Real Betis vs. Rubin Kazan
Swansea City vs. Napoli
Juventus vs. Trabzonspor
Viktoria Plzen vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Maribor vs. Sevilla
Chornomorets vs. Lyon
Lazio vs. Ludogorets Razgrad
Esbjerg vs. Fiorentina
Ajax vs. Red Bull Salzburg
Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs. Basel
Porto vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Anzhi Makhachkala vs. Racing Genk
Dynamo Kiev vs. Valencia
PAOK vs. Benfica
Slovan Liberec vs. AZ Alkmaar

While it may be looked upon as the smaller cousin when compared to the Champions League, the Europa League shows its real worth in these phases of the tournament, with some thrilling encounters now scheduled.

The official Europa League account confirms the fixtures:

The round of 32 meetings will see their first-leg encounters played out Feb. 20 before the return match takes place a week later, Feb. 27.

Similarly, there will be a week separating the home and the away legs of the round of 16 collisions, played out March 13/20.

It's a real continental collage of European giants left in this season's Europa League competitions, with no fewer than 19 countries represented in the latter stages, 14 of which were in the top-seeded 16.

Having failed to advance through the Champions League group round, Napoli, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel all came into the top-seeded half of the Europa League and face Swansea City, PAOK, Viktoria Plzen and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, respectively.

Europa League Round of 16 Fixtures
Home Team (1st leg) vs. Away Team (1st leg)
Slovan Liberec/AZ Alkmaar vs. Anzhi/Racing Genk
Lazio/Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Dynamo Kiev/Valencia
Porto/Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Swansea City vs. Napoli
Chornomorets/Lyon vs. Viktoria Plzen/Shakhtar Donetsk
Maribor/Sevilla vs. Real Betis/Rubin Kazan
Dnipro/Tottenham vs. PAOK/Benfica
Maccabi Tel-Aviv/Basel vs. Ajax/Red Bull Salzburg
Juventus/Trabzonspor vs. Esbjerg/Fiorentina

Not quite as lucky as their ex-Champions League alumni, Ajax, Juventus and Porto weren't as fortunate in terms of placement and have drawn some exciting matchups against Red Bull Salzburg, Trabzonspor and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Tottenham and Swansea are the two teams left flying the flag of the Premier League in this year's tournament. Spurs, who sacked Andre Villas-Boas earlier on Monday per BBC Sport, are currently in disarray following their 5-0 implosion Sunday against Liverpool.  

The Portuguese boss had led his team through a flawless group campaign, but Spurs will now face Dnipro with a new man in charge and old boss Juande Ramos returning with his Ukrainian upstarts. Michael Laudrup's Swans, meanwhile, have been faced with the task of taking on Arsenal's recent superiors Napoli, unlucky not to have advanced in the Champions League.

Despite not being the most prestigious of Europe's competitions, this season's Europa League has a massive helping of top-quality talent on display, with Juventus ranked as favourites, according to Oddschecker.

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