NYON, Switzerland – Spanish La Liga side Valencia has been paired against FC Krasnodar in the Europa League round of 16, according to the draw conducted on Friday at the UEFA headquarters in the Swiss district of Nyon.
It is important to the Spanish team to make the most of the first leg, to be held at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, as Krasnodar has proven to be invincible on the Russian side’s home turf thus far in the 2018-2019 Europa League.
“We have to be at our very best to face them,” Valencia and Spain right winger Ferran Torres told local media after he learned the outcome of the draw.
Torres also dismissed talk about the Russian team’s supposed lack of rhythm and praised the Black Sea team, stressing, “We have to take it one match at a time across all competitions because we know that any result could change the situation drastically.”
The Russian club has won most home Europa League matches; against Sevilla, Belgium’s Standard Liege and Turkey’s Akhisarspor, before drawing 1-1 on its home pitch, Krasnodar Stadium, against Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 32.
Meanwhile, Sevilla, Krasnodar’s rivals in Group Stage play, is set to take on SK Slavia Prague.
The Spanish team defeated Slavia Prague in the two previous Europa League encounters, the group stages of the 2007/2008, when the Andalusians defeated the Czech Republic side 4-2 at its home ground, and 3-0 on the road.
Sevilla, the most successful team at the Europa League with five titles, also appears to be in a good position ahead of its clash as the Spanish side has a record of four victories and three draws against teams from the Czech Republic.
Chelsea, who had been handed a two transfer window ban in connection to a violation in its contracting of under-18 players, is set to take on FC Dynamo Kyiv, while Arsenal is to play Stade Rennais FC.
The first leg of the Europa League round of 16 is to take place on March 7, with the second leg scheduled for March 14.
The draw is as follows:
- Chelsea vs Dynamo Kyiv
- Frankfurt vs Inter
- Dinamo Zagreb vs Benfica
- Napoli vs Salzburg
- Valencia vs Krasnodar
- Sevilla vs Slavia Praha
- Arsenal vs Rennes
- Zenit vs Villarreal