Liverpool and Tottenham handed tough ties in the Europa League

Zenit St Petersburg  and Lyon await Liverpool and Tottenham, while Newcastle play Metalist Kharkiv and Chelsea face Sparta Prague.

Liverpool and Tottenham have been drawn against Zenit St Petersburg and Lyon in what were two of the stand-out ties of the draw for the last 32 of the Europa League.

Meanwhile Newcastle play Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv and Chelsea face Sparta Prague.

The path for Tottenham looks particularly tough. Lyon are currently equal on points with PSG at the top of the Ligue 1 table. Should they negotiate their way past the French side, they will then play either Inter Milan or Cluj.

"It's a tough draw and this is the first time in nine years they've not been in the Champions League," Tottenham general secretary Darren Eales told Sky Sports News.

"There are a lot of tough teams in the draw. We can ask Hugo (Lloris, Tottenham's former Lyon goalkeeper) the way to go and I think he will be excited about the chance to go back to his old team and play there.

"If we do get Inter if we do get through, two years ago in the Champions League when Gareth Bale got that wonderful hat-trick - that's an exciting game but we have to think about Lyon first."

And Eales believes Villas-Boas has what it takes to lead Spurs to the European title after he engineered a win for former club Porto during a treble-winning first season in charge which saw his side also lift the Portuguese Cup and win the Primeira Liga.

"He's got the pedigree so hopefully he can do what he did with Porto two years ago and we can go al the way to (the final in) Amsterdam," he said.

"We want to be playing in European competition. We don't see why we can't have a successful Europa League campaign and do well in the league."

Liverpool face a daunting trip to St Petersburg to take on Zenit - a side whose supporters recently requested that black and homosexual players be officially banned from playing for the club. However, if they make their way past the Russians a match against either Basel or Dniprov looks negotiable.

Chelsea, who failed to make the knockout stages of the top-tier European competition, will start their bid to become only the fourth club after Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich to win all of the major European trophies. They take on Sparta Prague in what promises to be a fun trip to the Czech Republic for their fans. Should they make it through they will play either Ajax or Steaua Bucharest.

Newcastle face a task advancing to the last 16, playing Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv. They have been the Ukrainian champions six years in a row - dating back to 2007. Kharkic finished top of their Europa League group which also included Leverkusen, Rosenborg and Rapid Vienna, losing just once.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admitted the club's Europa League adventure in Ukraine will be a trip into the dark.

The Magpies, who were paired with Metalist Kharkiv, face a lengthy journey as well as a tough tie when the competition resumes in February.

Asked what he knew about their next opponents, Pardew said: "Not much, really.

"I do know it's a long journey, I've had a look at that, and they won their group, so it's a tough agenda for us.

"It's a tough draw in terms of travel; the opposition, I know very little about. I can't even comment on that until such time as we do some studying."

Atletico drew Russian side Rubin Kazan as they bid to defend the title they won with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Athletic Bilbao in last year's all-Spanish final.

In the other games, Champions League dropouts BATE Borisov face Turkey's Fenerbahce while Spain's Levante take on Olympiacos and Dynamo Kyiv take on Ligue 1's Bordeaux in their knockout ties.

Dutch champions Ajax host Steaua Bucharest first in their round of 32 tie while Germany's Stuttgart host Genk and Bayer Leverkusen play Portugal's Benfica.

Borussia Monchengladbach face Lazio while Swiss champions Basle play Dnipro of the Ukraine, Russia's Anzhi play Hannover and Napoli take on Viktoria Plzen.

Follow the latest reaction to the draw on The Independent's live blog.

 

Draw for the last 32 and 16 of the Europa League...


Napoli or Viktoria Plzen v BATE Borisov or Fenerbache

Leverkusen or Benfica v Dynamo Kiev or Bordeaux

Anzhi Makhachkala or Hannover v Newcastle or Metalist Kharkiv

Stuttgart or Genk v Monchengladbach or Lazio

Tottenham or Lyon v Inter Milan or Cluj

Levante or Olympiakos v Atletico Madrid or Rubin Kazan

Basel or Dniprov v Zenit St Petersburg or Liverpool

Ajax or Steaua Bucharest v Sparta Prague or Chelsea

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us