We’re now down to the final 32 teams in the Europa League following the conclusion of the group stages and the draw for this knockout round has thrown up some very intriguing fixtures. Sevilla, who have dominated this competition like no other in recent years, aren’t there (they qualified from their CL group), but there are still three other Spanish sides left, including Real Sociedad, who have a mouth-watering clash against Manchester United.
Round of 32 draw
Wolfsberger (SanSirro) vs Tottenham (Nike)
Dynamo Kyiv (New Balance) vs Club Brugge (Macron)
Real Sociedad (Macron) vs Manchester United (Adidas)
Benfica (Adidas) vs Arsenal (Adidas)
Red Star (Macron) vs Milan (Puma)
Antwerp (Jako) vs Rangers (Castore)
Slavia (Puma) vs Leicester (Adidas)
Salzburg (Nike) vs Villarreal (Joma)
Braga (Hummel) vs Roma (Nike)
Krasnodar (Puma) vs Zagreb (Adidas)
Young Boys (Nike) vs Bayer Leverkusen (Jako)
Molde (Nike) vs Hoffenheim (Jako)
Granada (Nike) vs Napoli (Kappa)
Maccabi (FILA) vs Shakhtar (Nike)
Lille (NB) vs Ajax (Adidas)
Olympiacos (Adidas) vs PSV (Puma)
Of the 32 teams left in the competition, Nike and Adidas have the biggest number of representatives- six each. The only derby (between two sides having the same manufacturer) comes in the form of Benfica against Arsenal. Interestingly, both these Adidas outfitted teams have Emirates as their primary jersey sponsor- part of the $320m spent annually by the airline. There is also a third team with Fly Emirates on their shirt in the Round of 32- Italian giants AC Milan, but they currently wear Puma and have been drawn against Red Star Belgrade, who are one of three Macron sides left in the competition.
The surprise team in the knockout stages are Austrian side Wolfsberger AC, who have been drawn against mighty Spurs. WAC come from a city with a population of just around 25,000 and managed to qualify ahead of Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow in Group K. Wolfsberger wear the SanSirro brand- they along with Castore, Joma, Hummel, FILA and Kappa are manufacturers with a single team left in the competition.
There are three Jako sides in the draw- Antwerp, Hoffenheim and Leverkusen. The latter two are up against Nike opposition in the form of Molde and Young Boys respectively while Antwerp will be battle Castore outfitted Rangers.
Dynamo Kiev against Brugge is the only game that pits two sides that finished third in their Champions League group against each other. Kiev are one of two New Balance outfitted sides left at this stage, the other being Lille, who have a tough draw against Ajax Amsterdam.
Nike 6- Tottenham, Salzburg, Roma, YB, Shakhtar, Granada
Adidas 6- Benfica, Arsenal, Leicester, Zagreb, Ajax, Olympiakos
Puma 4- Milan, Slavia, Krasnodar, PSV
Macron 3- Brugge, Sociedad, Belgrade
Jako 3- Antwerp, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim
NB 2 – Dynamo Kiev, Lille
Castore 1- Rangers
Joma 1 – Villarreal
SanSirro 1- Wolfsberger
Hummel 1- Braga
FILA 1- Maccabi
Kappa 1- Napoli