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The UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw threw up some fascinating matchups on Friday with Liverpool drawing Sparta Praha as Czech soccer enjoys a renaissance on the continental stage this season. 

The 2021 winners Villarreal have landed a tricky tie against former UEFA Champions League winners Olympique de Marseille with the opening leg in France -- an underrated tie given that current Submarino Amarillo boss Marcelino started this season with OM.

Arguably one of the ties of the round sees AS Roma up against Brighton and Hove Albion of the Premier League, while Sporting CP vs. Atalanta BC is another for the romantics. 

Scottish giants Rangers face Benfica in a meeting between two European giants of yesteryear, while West Ham United will face comeback kings SC Freiburg.

Slavia Praha also represent Czechia's impressive UEFA coefficient push this year and got Milan in the draw while Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen are up against Azerbaijan's history makers Qarabag -- the first team from their home country to ever reach this stage of any UEFA competition.

There was a big draw in the UEFA Europa Conference League too as Dutch giants Ajax drew Premier League outfit Aston Villa in one of the stand out round of 16 matchups across both of these competitions.

Full UEL round of 16:

  • Sparta Praha (Czechia) vs. Liverpool (England)
  • Olympique de Marseille (France) vs. Villarreal (Spain)
  • Roma (Italy) vs. Brighton (England)
  • Benfica (Portugal) vs. Rangers (Scotland)
  • SC Freiburg (Germany) vs. West Ham (England)
  • Sporting CP (Portugal) vs. Atalanta (Italy)
  • Milan (Italy) vs. Slavia Praha (Czechia)
  • Qarabag (Azerbaijan) vs. Leverkusen (Germany)

Full UECL round of 16:

  • Servette (Switzerland) vs. Viktoria Plzen (Czechia)
  • Ajax (Netherlands) vs. Aston Villa (England)
  • Molde (Norway) vs. Club Brugge (Belgium)
  • Union SG (Belgium) vs. Fenerbahce (Turkiye)
  • Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) vs. PAOK (Greece)
  • Sturm Graz (Austria) vs. Lille OSC (France)
  • Maccabi Haifa (Israel) vs. Fiorentina (Italy)
  • Olympiacos (Greece) vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

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