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Europa League round of 16 draw: Liverpool land favourable tie, Brighton face Roma

The Europa League round of 16 draw has been completed, and the path to Dublin has been mapped for the remaining contenders seeking glory.

Premier League contenders Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United advanced to the knockout stage as group winners.

Three-time winners Liverpool will face the champions of Czech Republic, Sparta Prague, while Brighton and West Ham take on AS Roma and SC Freiburg, respectively.

While the Reds are expected to swat aside their Czech counterparts, they can’t take anything for granted, as underestimating an opponent in a European tournament can be fatal.

European debutants Brighton face the daunting task of taking on 2022/23 Europa League beaten finalists Roma. The Italian giants are seeking redemption, but it’s far from a David vs Goliath conquest.

Meanwhile, having conquered Freiburg twice in the group stage, West Ham will aim to repeat the feat in their quest for a quarter-final berth.

Bundesliga pacesetters Bayer Leverkusen have also been handed a direct line to the quarter-finals as they prepare to face Azerbaijan heavyweights Qarabag FK.

Led by Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen are also expected to be in the mix for the Europa League crown.

The Spanish tactician could use the competition to solidify claims of being the perfect Jurgen Klopp successor by potentially stopping the Reds later in the competition.

The first leg ties will be played on March 7, while the reverse fixtures will take place on March 14.

Europa League last-16 draw

  • Qarabag FK vs Bayer Leverkusen
  • AC Milan vs Slavia Prague
  • Sporting CP vs Atalanta
  • SC Freiburg vs West Ham United
  • Benfica vs Rangers
  • AS Roma vs Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Olympique Marseille vs Villarreal
  • Sparta Prague vs Liverpool

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