The draw for the Europa League Round of 32 took place this morning at 7 am ET in Nyon, Switzerland, and Tottenham Hotspur now know who their opponent is. Spurs drew Austrian Bundesliga side Wolfsberger, with the first match set to take place either Feb. 16/17 or Feb. 23/24.
If, like me, you’re in favor of Spurs not facing one of the other Europa League heavyweights until later in the competition, then, also like me, you’ll be pleased by this draw. In my Europa League preview from last night, I had identified Wolfsberg as one of the clubs least likely to trouble Tottenham over two legs. In fact, FiveThirtyEight has them at the absolute bottom of the clubs left in the competition, with just a 14% chance of advancing to the Round of 16, and without taking the draw itself into consideration. (This may change by the time you click on the link.)
Wolfsberg are not the scary Austrian team — that’s Red Bull Salzburg. They’re also not a decent German team — that’s WolfsBURG. They progressed out of an easy Europa League group stage and while Spurs won’t want to look past them they should be able to rotate their squad and still comfortably dispatch them over two legs.
On the other hand, the draw was not so kind to other Premier League clubs. Manchester United were drawn against La Liga leaders Real Sociedad, while Arsenal drew Jan Vertonghen’s Benfica. Meanwhile, Villarreal drew RB Salzburg, which is great since that will eliminate one of the competition’s best remaining teams.
Here’s the draw in full:
- Wolfsberger vs. Tottenham Hotspur
- Dynamo Kyiv vs. Club Brugge
- Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United
- Benfica vs. Arsenal
- Red Star Belgrade vs. AC Milan
- Royal Antwerp vs. Rangers
- Slavia Prague vs. Leicester
- RB Salzburg vs. Villarreal
- Braga vs. Roma
- Krasnodar vs. Dinamo Zagreb
- Young Boys vs. Bayer Leverkusen
- Molde vs. Hoffenheim
- Granada vs. Napoli
- Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
- Lille vs. Ajax
- Olympiakos vs. PSV Eindhoven