Juve head to Turkey for Europa League

Juventus must return to Turkey, the scene of their surprise Champions League exit, after the Europa League last-32 draw pitted the Serie A leaders against Trabzonspor.

Juventus

The Bianconeri surrendered their place in the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition by losing at Galatasaray last week and dropped into the Europa League, meaning they will host Trabzonspor in Turin on February 20 before heading to the transcontinental nation a week later.

The reigning Italian champions will hope to put the disappointment of a curtailed Champions League campaign behind them by reaching the final which will be held at their Juventus Stadium on May 14.

Three more Serie A clubs featured in Monday's draw in Nyon, and Napoli were handed an intriguing trip to Barclays Premier League side Swansea, who are managed by Michael Laudrup. Lazio will host Ludogorets of Bulgaria while Fiorentina venture to Denmark to tackle Esbjerg.

The Spanish Primera Division is represented by Valencia, who have been tasked with a tough trip to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine, while Sevilla visit Maribor in Slovenia as city rivals Real Betis host Russians Rubin Kazan.

Lyon are the only side keeping the French flag flying and visit Chornomorets with Eintracht Frankfurt looking to further the Bundesliga's cause against 2003 and 2011 winners Porto.

Dutch giants Ajax drop down from the Champions League and host surprise Austrian package Red Bull Salzburg in Amsterdam.

Managerless Tottenham, who dismissed Andre Villas-Boas on Monday, reunite with another former boss when Juande Ramos' Dnipro play host to the Londoners.

Elsewhere, Victoria Plzen host Shakhtar Donetsk and Maccabi Tel-Aviv entertain Basle in Israel. Benfica are in Greece to play PAOK as Czech hopefuls Slovan Liberec welcome AZ Alkmaar.

Anzhi Makhachkala tackle Belgian opposition in the form of Genk.

Tottenham topped Group K with six wins from as many matches and will be regarded as one of the favourites to win the competition, with Villas-Boas paying the price for an indifferent start to the Premier League after a big-spending summer.

They will start as favourites against Dnipro, who finished second in Group E behind Fiorentina, while Greek side PAOK or last season's runners-up Benfica lie in wait after the draw was also made for the last-16 in Nyon.

Swansea face a much more daunting route after being paired with Napoli, managed by former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez.

The Swans, unlike Spurs, were unseeded for Monday's draw and knew they would be given tough opposition.

Michael Laudrup may feel his side have received the harshest possible draw, with Napoli still seething from their elimination from the Champions League last week.

The Serie A side won four of six games to sit alongside Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal but settled for third in Group F due to an inferior head-to-head record against their rivals.

Should Swansea cause an upset, they will face either Portuguese champions Porto or Eintracht Frankfurt.

Napoli's domestic rivals Juventus were pitted against Turkish club Trabzonspor, Spanish outfit Valencia face a tricky tie against Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine, while Real Betis have been drawn to face Russians Rubin Kazan in the other standout matches of the draw.



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update