The draw for the round of 32 in the Europa League was made today:
Athletic Club (ESP) v APOEL (CYP)
Legia Warszawa (POL)* v Ajax (NED)
Anderlecht (BEL) v Zenit (RUS)
Astra Giurgiu (ROU) v Genk (BEL)
Manchester United (ENG) v St-Étienne (FRA)
Villarreal (ESP) v Roma (ITA)
Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)* v København (DEN)*
Celta Vigo (ESP) v Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Olympiacos (GRE) v Osmanlıspor (TUR)
Gent (BEL) v Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)*
Rostov (RUS)* v Sparta Praha (CZE)
Krasnodar (RUS) v Fenerbahçe (TUR)
Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER)* v Fiorentina (ITA)
AZ Alkmaar (NED) v Lyon (FRA)*
Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Beşiktaş (TUR)*
PAOK (GRE) v Schalke (GER)
It could have been worse (sorry, Celta!) but it could have been better too. Roma currently are second in Serie A, and have to be one of the clubs we would have liked to avoid. However, there is plenty of time before February 16 and 23 for us to recover our good form, right?
The two teams have met once before: Villarreal lost in Italy 2-1 but defeated the Italians 2-0 at El Madrigal in the 2003-04 UEFA Cup Round of 16.
Our opponents today, Atleti, drew Bayer Leverkusen in the CL round of 16; Real Madrid drew Napoli, both clubs we have some experience with. Barcelona drew Paris St. Germain and Sevilla will face Leicester City.