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Europa League Draw: Chelsea and Arsenal handed easy draw as Celtic face tricky test at Valencia

Arsenal will take on BATE Borisov and Chelsea play Swedish side Malmo in the Europa League last 32.

Arsenal and their London rivals will both fancy their chances of progressing having gone through as group winners.   

But Scottish champions Celtic have one of the toughest draws of the first knockout stage against Valencia, who dropped down from the Champions League.  

Unai Emery has a phenomenal record in the Europa League having steered Sevilla to the trophy three times. 

And his Arsenal side negotiated the group stage with ease, keeping five consecutive clean sheets and winning all but one of the games against Sporting Lisbon, Vorskla and Qarabag. They will now take on BATE Borisov and expect a typically hostile atmosphere in the away leg against the Belarusians. 

Chelsea fans will have a trip to the Swedish coastal town of Malmo to look forward to in the new year after a near perfect group campaign. 

The Blues’ perfect record in the competition this season came to an end against Vidi last week in a 2-2 draw. 

EUROPA LEAGUE LAST 32 DRAW 

Viktoria Plzen vs Dinamo Zagreb

Brugge vs Salzburg

Rapid Vienna vs Inter Milan 

Slavia Prague vs Genk

Krasnodar vs Bayer Leverkusen

Zurich vs Napoli 

Malmo vs Chelsea 

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Eintracht Frankfurt  

Celtic vs Valencia 

Rennes vs Real Betis 

Olympiacos vs Dinamo Kiev 

Lazio vs Sevilla 

Fenerbahce vs Zenit St Petersburg

Sporting Lisbon vs Villarreal

BATE Borisov vs Arsenal 

Galatasaray vs Benfica 

Brendan Rodgers will hope the Celtic Park factor can play a part when the Scottish champions host their opponents.  

The Spanish side are struggling in La Liga, down in 14th place.

There were plenty of other appetising contests drawn to take place next February. Lazio, fifth in Serie A, meet five-time champions Sevilla in one of the stand-out games. 

Galatasaray’s encounter with Benfica also looks to be a fascinating pairing as both sides will have expected to feature in the latter stages of the competition. 

ajay
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