Big boys avoid each other in Europa draw
NYON, Switzerland (AP):
Chelsea have been drawn to face Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League, and Arsenal will play French club Rennes.
Both London clubs are currently outside the top four in the Premier League, so the Champions League place awarded to the Europa League winner could be the best chance for them to return to the elite competition.
Chelsea won the Europa League in 2013, but have recently dropped to sixth in the Premier League and was knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Monday.
In another blow, Chelsea were banned by FIFA yesterday from signing players until the 2020 offseason transfer window for breaching rules covering youngsters.
Also in yesterday’s draw, five-time champion Sevilla were drawn to meet Slavia Prague.
In other matchups, it’s: Eintracht Frankfurt vs Inter Milan; Dinamo Zagreb vs Benfica; Napoli vs Salzburg; Valencia vs Krasnodar; and Zenit St Petersburg vs Villarreal as the favourites avoided each other.
The first legs will be played on March 7 and the return games on March 14.
The final is set for May 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.