Europa League: Manchester United given stern test

Manchester United have been drawn against Liverpool in a tantalising tie in the last-16 of the Europa League.

The two giants of British and European football will slog it out for the first time in European competition for a place in the quarter-finals.

The first leg is at Anfield on March 10 and the return leg is at Old Trafford on March 17.

United booked their place in the draw with a emphatic victory over Midtjylland as teenager Marcus Rashford marked his debut with a superb double after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up and saved Louis van Gaal from further embarrassment.

Jurgen Klopp’s men, who beat Augsburg to secure their place in the last-16, will prove an altogether different proposition but United will go into it with some confidence having won the last four league encounters between them.

United will hope some of their key players are back from injury then with Van Gaal having at least 14 sidelined at present. David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial should all be available to the Dutchman but Wayne Rooney will miss the clash.

Another mouth-watering clash is Spurs versus Borussia Dortmund, while Gary Neville’s Valencia will be relieved to avoid any of the Premier League big guns but face a tricky tie against Athletic in an all-liga encounter.

FULL DRAW

Shakhtar v Anderlecht
Basel v Sevilla
Villarreal v Bayer Leverkusen
Athletic Bilbao v Valencia
Liverpool v Manchester United
Sparta Prague v Lazio
Dortmund v Spurs
Fenerbahce v Braga

More to follow…

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