Manchester United and Tottenham learned their Europa League fates on Monday after the round-of-32 draw was made and pitted them against Saint-Etienne and Gent respectively.
United finished in second place in Group A behind Fenerbahce but comfortable qualified in the end despite their troubles along the way.
Meanwhile, Spurs dropped down after being eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, but finished third in their group and so did enough to save their European involvement this season.
Both teams, along with European giants such as Roma, Ajax and Lyon will be hopeful of winning the competition this year as it gives them a route into the Champions League next season.
Nevertheless, it won’t be easy as although there aren’t as many high-profile clubs in the draw as in recent years, all the remaining teams will be confident in their ability to advance and see where their journey takes them.
Former Sweden international and United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be hoping to reach the final in particular as this year’s tournament finale will take place in Stockholm, but he’ll have to help Jose Mourinho’s side find a way past Saint-Etienne first which could prove to be tricky.
One positive to take from the draw for both Premier League sides though will be that they don’t face long trips, with Spurs having a 350km journey to Belgium while United have been even luckier as they have avoided some tougher fixtures in Eastern Europe which could have had a negative impact in an already tight schedule.
Round of 32 Europa League draw:
Athletic Bilbao vs APOEL
Legia Warsaw vs Ajax
Anderlecht vs Zenit
Astra vs Genk
Manchester United vs Saint-Etienne
Villarreal vs Roma
Ludogorets vs Copenhagen
Celta vs Shakhtar
Olympiakos vs Osmanlispor
Gent vs Tottenham
Rostov vs Sparta Prague
Krasnodar vs Fenerbahce
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Fiorentina
AZ Alkmaar vs Lyon
Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Besiktas
PAOK vs Schalke