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Liverpool, Spurs Get Tough Europa League Draws
ESPN Soccernet, December 20th, 2012 12:09PM

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Liverpool drew Russian champion Zenit St. Petersburg in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, while deposed Champions League champion Chelsea will play Sparta Prague. Tottenham, meanwhile, meets Lyon, which means a return for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to his former club.

"Lyon is a tremendous tie for us in the sense that it gives this country, along with the Liverpool game, the chance to see wonderful Europa League fixtures being played,'' Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas told reporters. "Zenit-Liverpool and Tottenham-Lyon should both be considered like Champions League fixtures so I think this is something important for the competition, for how it's seen in this country.”

Elsewhere in the Europa League, Newcastle drew Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv, while defending champion Atletico Madrid meets Rubin Kazan. Ajax, which aims to reach the final on home soil in Amsterdam, will take on Romanian side Steaua Bucharest. Italian giant Inter Milan plays CFR Cluj and Lazio faces Borussia Monchengladbach.

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