Tottenham will play Fiorentina in the Europa League Round of 32. The draw was held today in Nyon, Switzerland at UEFA Headquarters.
In drawing Fiorentina, Tottenham avoided some of the major pitfalls of the draw. Specifically, Spurs have successfully avoided having to travel to eastern Europe. The prevailing narrative was that Spurs were destined to draw Champions League drop-out Zenit St. Petersburg, currently managed by Andre Villas-Boas, Dynamo Moscow, or Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv. Spurs successfully dodged that bullet, though with only a few teams left, it looked to be a close thing.
Spurs have never faced off against Fiorentina before in a competitive fixture, so there's no history to draw from. The Gigliati are currently eighth in Serie A, two spots behind Inter Milan and twelve points behind table toppers Juventus.
This isn't the easiest draw for Spurs, but it's far from the worst possible. Fiorentina and Spurs might actually match up decently well. Fiorentina isn't studded with stars, but their squad features names you might recognize: Josep Ilicic, Giuseppe Rossi, Alberto Aquilani, Stefan Savic, and of course, Mario Gomez (push the button!). In addition, both Micah Richards (Manchester City) and Marko Marin (Chelsea) are currently there on loan. And as far as travel goes, Italy is a heck of a lot better than Russia. It's a solid pairing, and it could go either way.
Shortly after the draw, match times were announced, and Spurs will open the home-and-away time at home:
As an unseeded team we'll play the 1st leg at home on Thursday 19 February. The 2nd leg is scheduled for Thursday 26 February. #UELdraw— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 15, 2014