The draw for the Europa League Round of 16 has been made, and Tottenham Hotspur now know their next opponent. Spurs were drawn against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, with the second leg to take place in London.
It’s a good draw. Zagreb came out of the same Europa League group stage as Spurs’ last opponents, Wolfsberger AC, but although they didn’t lose a match in their group they had scoreless draws against Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow. Their first knock-out stage came against Champions League parachute club Krasnodar, whom they beat 4-2 on aggregate. They’re currently tied at the top of the Croatian League table.
You might also remember that Dinamo Zagreb is the club that sold us Luka Modric, and for that they’ll always have my thanks.
Croatia is a decent flight, but with the second leg in London this is a very winnable series for Spurs, and it’s possible that they may be able to roll out another rotated side. Take a look at the full draw:
- Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur
- Olympiacos v Arsenal
- AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
- Dynamo Kyiv v Villarreal
- Ajax v Young Boys
- Granada v Molde
- Slavia Prague v Rangers
- Manchester United v AC Milan
Not only are there some fun matchups — United vs. Milan, Arsenal vs. Olympiacos, and Roma vs. Shakhtar are guaranteed to eliminate three pretty solid teams when all’s said and done. The way the draw played out means that there’s likely going to be some favorable draw opportunities for Spurs in the quarterfinals, should they make it that far. SOMEONE’S going to have to draw the winner of Granada v. Molde... why not Tottenham?
The first leg will take place on Thursday, March 11. The second leg is set for Thursday, March 18, but as in the last round both Arsenal and Spurs are set to play at home on the same day. One of them is likely to be moved up to Wednesday of that week (and since Spurs did it last time my guess is it’ll be Arsenal this time).
UPDATE: As per ESPN, Tottenham’s fixtures are likely to be reversed with the first leg being held in London.