The draw for the Europa League Round of 16 has been made, and it’s thrown up some very interesting ties for the three German sides left in the competition. Bayer Leverkusen will face Rangers, Wolfsburg have been drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk and Eintracht Frankfurt will square off against Basel.
Wolfsburg’s draw is perhaps the toughest- Shakhtar have European pedigree, and have often proved tough nuts to crack. On paper, Leverkusen will be relatively satisfied with a draw against Rangers, who are the sole Scottish side left in the competition after Celtic’s exit at the hands of FC Copenhagen.
The games will take place on 12 and 19 March. Wolfsburg are at home for the first leg, while Leverkusen and Frankfurt will both be travelling for their respective first legs.
The first leg of the Round of 16 Champions League ties went quite well for German sides, with all three Bundesliga sides still in the competition all registering victories.
Two teams- Leipzig and Bayern, were on the road in the first leg, with BVB having home advantage for their tie against Paris Saint Germain.
In comparison to last season’s Round of 16, when German sides struggled against English opposition, this year’s been different. Both Leipzig and Bayern claimed priceless away victories, the former winning 1:0 against Spurs and the latter beating Chelsea 3:0 at Stamford Bridge.
BVB also registered a 2:1 win primarily thanks to the brilliance of Erling Braut Haaland. PSG’s away goal gives them hope ahead of the second leg, but Dortmund will certainly not go down without a fight at Parc des Princes.
Even Leverkusen, who were there in the Champions League but dropped down to the Europa League, registered a fine 2:1 first leg win over Porto in their Round of 32 tie. Porto are normally CL regulars and no pushovers, and this makes for an enthralling second leg. There were also victories for Eintracht Frankfurt against Salzburg (4:1) and Wolfsburg over Malmo (2:1) in the same competition.
Will we see all six German sides involved in European competition currently progress to the next round?
Borussia Dortmud joined RB Leipzig in the knockout stages of the Champions League after beating Slavia Praha 2-1 on the final match day. BVB’s 2-1 win, along with Inter’s loss by the same scoreline against Barca, sealed their progress to the round of 16.
There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides, as these player ratings will show.