Galatasaray of Turkey winger, Henry Onyekuru will for the third time clash with a fellow-Nigerian player in the Europa League, after his side were pooled against Tyronne Ebuehi’s Benfica for the next round.
Onyekuru got the better of Brian Idowu’s Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia during the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, but fell to Chidozie Awaziem’s FC Porto, and now facs another tough tussle with Ebuhi’s Benfica of Portugal.
This follows the round of 32 draw on Monday for Europe’s second-tier clubs’ competition, for which Onyekuru’s Istanbul-based Turkish Super Lig club qualified after finishing third in their UCL group.
Although Ebuehi is yet to play a single competitive match for Benfica, since moving from ADO Den Haag of Holland in the summer, he expects to be back in action at the start of 2019 and could play a role against Onyekuru’s side.
Also in Monday’s draw, Victor Moses’ Chelsea were pooled against FF Malmo, while Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal are pitted against The Blues’ former group rivals, BATE Borisov of Belarus.
Celtic, who were unseeded in the draw, play Valencia with the home leg scheduled for February 14 and the return match in Spain taking place seven days later on February 21.
Chelsea are away on February 14 and will host Malmo in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on February 21.
Arsenal are also away on February 14 but their second-leg clash with Belorussian side BATE will be played at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, February 20 at 5pm, a day earlier than the other Europa League last-32 ties.
UEFA rules stipulate that two teams cannot play in the city on the same night, so Chelsea – who also topped their group and play their second leg match at home – have been given priority to play on Thursday as they won last season’s FA Cup.
Sporting Lisbon face an Iberian clash against Samuel Chukwueze’s La Liga side, Villarreal, while Serie A side Lazio are drawn to play five-time winners Sevilla.
The Europa League final takes place on May 29 at Baku’s Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.