News ID: 239247
Published: 0320 GMT February 22, 2019

Arsenal faces Rennes in Europa League last 16, Chelsea draws Dynamo Kiev

Arsenal faces Rennes in Europa League last 16, Chelsea draws Dynamo Kiev
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech

Arsenal will face French side Rennes in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Chelsea was paired with Dynamo Kiev in Friday's draw.

Both Premier League clubs will be at home in the first leg on Thursday, March 7, with the return matches scheduled for March 14, AFP wrote.

Arsenal's draw means that the team’s veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech will return to face the club he represented for two seasons before joining Chelsea in 2004.

The Gunners overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to qualify for the last 16 by beating BATE Borisov of Belarus 3-0 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Rennes reached the last 16 for the first time in its history with a fine 3-1 win away to Real Betis in Spain, a result that gave it a 6-4 aggregate triumph.

The Brittany club finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season and is currently in mid-table, but has impressed since the 38-year-old Julien Stephan was appointed as coach in December.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery – who won the Europa League three years running as coach of Sevilla – is familiar with Rennes from his two seasons in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.

London rival Chelsea, the other Premier League club still in the competition, might also view winning the Europa League as its most likely route into next season's Champions League.

After beating Swedish side Malmo 5-1 on aggregate, it might find the going tougher against Ukrainian giant Dynamo.

The clubs met in the group stage of the Champions League in 2015-16, drawing 0-0 in Kiev before Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Sevilla, which has won the trophy five times including twice in its former guise as the UEFA Cup, will face Slavia Prague.

Widely-fancied Napoli will take on the Austrian champion Salzburg, which reached the semifinals last season.

Former European Cup finalist and UEFA Cup winner Eintracht Frankfurt was drawn against Inter Milan, which won the UEFA Cup three times in the 1990s.

Benfica faces Dinamo Zagreb, while Valencia's reward for knocking out Celtic is a tie against FC Krasnodar of Russia.

That is one of two ties between Russian and Spanish sides, with Zenit Saint Petersburg drawn against Villarreal.

The final of this season's Europa League will be played in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on May 29.




Resource: AFP
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