Nantes inherits from Juventus, Rennes and Monaco a full-bodied 16th final

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Juventus Turin, Shaktar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen are respectively the opponents of Nantes, Rennes and AS Monaco in the Europa League play-offs. A stage of the competition which will see a huge clash between Manchester United and Barça.

Nantes dreamed of a “big Europe” and his wish was granted. FC Nantes fell on Monday on a great European: Juventus Turin, in the play-offs for the knockout stages of the Europa League, during an inclement draw for Monaco, opposed to Leverkusen, and Rennes, opponent of Shakhtar Donetsk.

The three French clubs will play their continental future on Thursday February 16 and 23, with the advantage of receiving for the return match.

The “Canaries” have already met the “Old Lady” in their history, in the semi-finals of the 1996 Champions League. Beaten 2-0 in the first leg, with a severe red card for Bruno Carotti, the players of “Coco “Suaudeau failed to turn the tide on the return, despite a prestigious 3-2 victory.

For this gala match, the very noisy Loire stand risks being closed. Condemned by UEFA to a suspended partial closure for the use of smoke bombs during the reception of Friborg on October 13, the FCN must still go before the disciplinary committee to examine the case of the match against Qarabag, where the supporters have again lit many bengal fires.

Barça-Manchester United poster

Currently third in Ligue 1, Stade Rennes has great ambitions in this European competition. But his second place in Group B, two points behind the Turks of Fenerbahçe, complicates his task.

Bruno Genesio’s men, who have never done better than a knockout round in the Europa League, must therefore overcome the obstacle of Shakhtar Donetsk, used to the European Cups but stunned by war. The Ukrainians played their Champions League matches in Poland this fall. The Rennais are aiming for a second qualification for the eighth of C3, after 2019 and their elimination against Arsenal despite a 3-1 victory in the first leg (3-0 on the return).

For AS Monaco, it will be necessary to get rid of the Germans of Bayer Leverkusen, who started badly in the league and disappointed by their Champions League campaign, which ended behind Porto and Bruges with a single victory in the bag. The team led by Xabi Alonso, however, has offensive weapons to contain, such as the Czech Patrik Schick and the Frenchman Moussa Diaby, who scored twice last weekend against Union Berlin (5-0), ex – leader of the Bundesliga.

Two of the contenders for the final, scheduled for May 31, 2023 in Budapest, will cross swords during these play-offs: Robert Lewandowski’s FC Barcelona will face Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The complete draw for the knockout stages of the Europa League :

FC Barcelona (ESP) – Manchester United (ENG)

Juventus (ITA) – FC Nantes (FRA)

Sporting CP (POR) – Midtjylland (DEN)

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) – Rennes (FRA)

Ajax Amsterdam (NED) – Union Berlin (GER)

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) – AS Monaco (FRA)

Sevilla FC (ESP) – PSV Eindhoven (NED)

Salzburg (AUT) – AS Roma (ITA)

With AFP


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