Manchester United and Ajax, two powers that were eliminated from the Champions League, will face each in the other in the Europa League round of 32. First legs will be played Feb. 16; return matches scheduled Feb. 23
"It’s two teams that should have been in the Champions League still,” said Ajax commercial director Henri van der Aat. “They (United) will be very motivated. You have to show the world that even if you are in the Europa League, that you can win it.”
Defending champion FC Porto will play Premier League leader Manchester City in UEFA’s second-tier competition.
In other matches, 2010 Europa League champion Atletico Madrid will faces Lazio, while Europe’s two highest-ranked leagues were brought together in a Stoke-Valencia pairing. The other pairings are: Udinese vs. PAOK Thessaloniki; Locomotiv Moscow vs. Athletic Bilbao; Viktoria Plzen vs. Schalke; Salzburg vs. Metalist Kharkiv; Rubin Kazan vs. Olympiakos; AZ Alkmaar vs. Anderlecht; Steaua Bucharest vs. FC Twente; Wisla Krakow vs. Standard Liege; Braga vs. Besiktas; Trabzonspor vs. PSV Eindhoven; Hannover vs. Club Brugge; and Legia Warsaw vs. Sporting Lisbon.