While just one Nigerian player was visible in the Round of 16 UEFA Champions League draw on Monday, the country has a handful of representations in the less-fancied Europa League which is now in the Round of 32.
In the draws conducted also on Monday just after the Champions League pairings were concluded, some Nigerian players will be battling themselves for a place in the Round of 16 of the second-tier competition.
Spanish club Granada which has Ramon Azeez in its books has been pitched against Victor Osimhen’s Napoli while the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi who play for Leicester City will battle against Slavia Prague in their Round of 32 fixture. Peter Olayinka plays for the Czech club and he would fancy his team’s chances against the Foxes.
For some of the other fixtures involving Nigerian players, the duo of Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun who both play for Scottish side Rangers will be facing Belgian club Antwerp.
Elsewhere, two Nigerian players are also expected to be in action for Club Brugge who have been pitched against Dynamo Kyiv.
Also, Leke James’ Molde are pitched against German club Hoffenheim while Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal have a tricky clash against Salzburg.
For the fixtures involving the big names, Manchester United will be up against Real Sociedad while Arsenal have a date with Portuguese side Benfica
Europa League last 32 fixtures – in full
Antwerp vs Rangers
Benfica vs Arsenal
Braga vs Roma
Red Star vs AC Milan
Dynamo Kiev vs Club Brugge
Granada vs Napoli
Krasnodar vs Dinamo Zagreb
LOSC Lille vs Ajax
Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Molde vs Hoffenheim
Olympiacos vs PSV Eindhoven
Real Sociedad vs Manchester United
Salzburg vs Villarreal
Slavia Prague vs Leicester
Wolfsberger vs Tottenham
Young Boys vs Bayer Leverkusen
Both legs will be played over consecutive weeks in February.
First legs: Thursday 18 February
Second legs: Thursday 25 February
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