Europa League round of 32 draw: Chelsea take on Malmo, Arsenal face long-distance trek

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The round of 32 Europa League draw has been made, pitting Arsenal against BATE Borisov while Chelsea will face Malmo.

The Gunners will undoubtedly take a close look at Chelsea’s two encounters with BATE in the group stage, with the Blues coming out on top on both occasions.

SEE MORE: “Arsenal should not play Europa League”: Qarabag boss claims Gunners are too good for sidekick competition

Nevertheless, considering the 2,000+ mile round-trip journey to Belarus, Unai Emery won’t be thrilled at the thought of more longer distance travel for his squad, but they will fancy their chances of advancing to the next stage.

As for Chelsea, they’ll also be heavy favourites for their clash with Malmo, with Maurizio Sarri taking the competition seriously to this point and seemingly eager to secure silverware in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Celtic face a tough clash with Valencia, while some of the stand-out ties in the draw include Lazio taking on Sevilla, Sporting facing Villarreal and Galatasaray crossing paths with Benfica.

In turn, with the introduction of the sides dropping down from the Champions League, it promises to be an intriguing knockout stage in the Europa League, and it remains to be seen just how far the Premier League sides can go with Emery of course boasting an impressive winning pedigree in this competition.

The quality level is high again this year though, and it promises to get increasingly difficult as expected the deeper in the competition that the teams get.

Full draw:

Plzen vs Dinamo Zagreb
Club Brugge vs Salzburg
Rapid Vienna vs Inter
Slavia Prague vs Genk
Krasnodar vs Leverkusen
FC Zurich vs Napoli
Malmo vs CHELSEA
Shakhtar vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Celtic vs Valencia
Rennes vs Betis
Olympiacos vs Dynamo Kiev
Lazio vs Sevilla
Fenerbahce vs Zenit
Sporting vs Villarreal
Galatasaray vs Benfica

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