Celtic face tough tie with Valencia in Europa League round of 32

Mon, Dec 17 2018

Celtic captain Scott Brown shares a laugh with Shamrock Rovers' Dave McAllister during their July friendly. Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

Celtic will host Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie after the Scottish champions were paired with the La Liga side in the draw on Monday afternoon.

The Glasgow club went into the draw unseeded and were handed one of the toughest possible draws as they come up against a Valencia decided dropping down from the Champions League.

The Spanish club finished third in a group containing Juventus and Manchester United, finishing two points off second spot despite beaten Jose Mourinho’s United 2-1 in their final game.

2013 Europa League winners Chelsea drew Swedish side Malmo, while Arsenal will reprise their 2017-18 group stage meeting, which the Gunners won 6-0 and 4-2, with BATE Borisov.

In other high-profile ties, two sides dropping down from the Champions League, Benfica and Galatasaray, pair off while Lazio have been matched with Sevilla.

Internazionale have been paired with Rapid Wien, while the other Austrian side, Red Bull Salzburg, have been rewarded for their group win with a tie against Belgian champions Club Brugge.

The two German sides have been handed tough trips east as Eintracht Frankfurt drew Ukraine’s Shakthar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen with Krasnodar of Russia.

Europa League Round of 32 draw:

Viktoria Plzen v Dinamo Zagreb

Club Brugge v Red Bull Salzburg

Rapid Vienna v Inter Milan

Slavia Prague v Genk

Krasnodar v Bayer Leverkusen

FC Zurich v Napoli

Malmo v Chelsea

Shakhtar Donetsk v Eintracht Frankfurt

Celtic v Valencia

Rennes v Real Betis

Olympiakos v Dinamo Kiev

Lazio v Sevilla

Fenerbache v Zenit St Petersburg

Sporting Lisbon v Villarreal

Bate Borisov v Arsenal

Galatasaray v Benfica