Opinion: What would be an ideal tie for Spurs in the Europa League last 16

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Jose Mourinho Joao Sacramento
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

As the Europa League ramps up towards the final in May, we count down which teams that Spurs could be hoping to face in today’s draw and more importantly, which teams we should be looking to avoid. 

15) Molde

The Norwegians out finished second in poor Group, during the earlier stages, but managed to win home and away to Hoffenheim in the last 32, they are a team not to be underestimated. 

14) Dinamo Zagreb

The Croatian champions won a competitive group, and did not lose any of their six games to teams including Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow. They also beat Russian Champions League dropouts FK Krasnodar in the last 32 and could pose a threat.

13) Slavia Prague

They’ve just won at the King Power stadium, and look watertight at the back. They’re also Czech champions for three straight years.

12) Young Boys

Not much to say here. We all remember the game on that plastic pitch back in 2011. They still appear to pose a threat, having scored six goals over their recent two legs against Bayer Leverkusen.

11) Dynamo Kiev

They narrowly edged out Club Brugge in the latest round, but are used to playing in Europe’s top tier. It’s difficult to call how tough the Ukranian’s will be, considering they were matched with Barcelona and Juventus in the Champions League group stage.

10) Villareal

The dangerous Spanish side won their Europa League group at a canter, and have also impressively knocked out RB Salzburg. The team which currently sits sixth in La Liga will be a test for anyone.

9) Rangers 

I don’t think the would-be Scottish champions have much hope of threatening in this competition, but after scoring a lorry load of goals against Royal Antwerp, who knows? And no one fancies a cold night in Glasgow, do they?

8) Olympiacos 

We know all about this team, having been tested against them twice in the Champions League last year. They’ve just edged out PSV Eindhoven, and will surely prove a headache to beat again.

7) Ajax

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t fancy a repeat of that crazy night in Amsterdam. I know they’ve since sold a lot of their talent, but the team which has just defeated Lille will be out for revenge.

6) Granada

A slight surprise, but I really don’t fancy facing this team. They’ve been quiet so far in this competition, but look an attractive proposition whenever I’ve seen them play. They’re also very solid defensively.

5) Arsenal

On paper, our squad is better than Arsenal’s, who were fortunate to get through to this stage. Footballing-wise, we should win.  However, this is Tottenham Hotspur we’re talking about.

4) Shakhtar Donetsk

What a threat this side holds. They comfortably made it through their last 32 tie, and won home and away to Real Madrid in their Champions League group. Penetrating their leaky defence will be key.

3) AC Milan

We’ve had great European memories against the Italian giants before, but they hold some serious talent in their squad. Namely, Mario Mandzukic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who may relish the prospect of facing our defence.

2) Roma

Roma look imperious in the Europa League this season. They swept aside Braga in the last 32 and have a squad full of experience, including ex-Chelsea forward Pedro, and former Manchester City marksman Edin Dzeko.

1) Manchester United

I don’t think Manchester United have the greatest squad in the competition, but no Spurs fan can ever say that they truly back us against them with any confidence. As long as VAR continues to give soft penalties, United will be a threat. 

 

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