It’s never a boring day at Chelsea Football Club, but even as our attentions are focused on the FIFA transfer ban as well the future of Maurizio Sarri, we have a bit of actual football-related matter to pay attention to: the Europa League Round of 16 draw!
After 16 teams fell by the wayside in the first knockout round, there are no more new entries. The last 16 are the last 16, and they include some pretty good teams. Starting in this round, there are no seedings and no restrictions about matching teams from the same association (so Chelsea could draw Arsenal) — although teams from Ukraine and Russia will continue to be separated.
And so, the draw was conducted today at midday GMT, with three-time winner Andrés Palop drawing the balls of fate and revealing that Chelsea, who were first out of the bucket will face Dynamo Kiev from Ukraine, whom we faced in the group stages of the 2015-16 Champions League.
The Round of 16 draw in full is as follows. First-drawn teams will be home in the first leg. Matches will be played on March 7 and March 14.
CHELSEA vs. Dynamo Kiev
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Inter Milan
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Benfica
Napoli vs. Salzburg
Valencia vs. Krasnodar
Sevilla vs. Slavia Prague
Arsenal vs. Stade Rennais
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Villarreal
Somehow, all the big teams managed to avoid each other! Good job, Andrés!