The draws for the knockout stages of the Europa League have been made, and Nigerian players are in the mix of it all.
After a strong end to their Europa League group stage, which saw Rangers go unbeaten in their last four fixtures, the Gers secured a second-place berth.
However, it will not be any easier for Rangers, as they’ve drawn Borrusia Dortmund in the knockout stages.
Nigeria internationals Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, and Calvin Bassey will look to be in top shape when Erling Haaland comes to town as they look to progress at the expense of their German counterparts.
Also, Ziadu Sanusi will have his work cut out when Porto play Lazio. The Portuguese side were knocked out of the Champions League after a feisty 3-1 loss to Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Victor Osimhen will pay a visit to the Camp Nou when Napoli take on Barcelona. The 22-year-old Nigerian striker will hope to have returned from injury by the time clash takes place in February.
Other draws are:
Sevilla Vs Dinako Zagreb
Atalanta Vs Olympiacos
Leipzig Vs Real Sociedad
Zenith Vs Real Betis
Sheriff Vs Braga.
Meanwhile, the Europa Conference League draws took place soon after the Europa League draws were made.
Danish side Midtjylland will trade tackles with PAOK. Both sides have Nigerians in their books, although Anderson Esiti is more of a peripheral figure with the Greek side.
Frank Onyedika will look to show his dominance in midfield when his side faces the former Champions of Greece.
Also, Leicester’s trio of Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman will look to pick up the pieces of their campaign on the continent when they square off against Stephen Odey’s Randers.
The Foxes were eliminated from the Europa League after a final day 3-2 loss to Napoli. Still, they will fancy their chances of claiming a major silverware this season. But before they can dream big, they will have to deal with the Randers.
Elsewhere, Peter Olayinka’s Slavia Prague play against Fenerbahce for a spot in the next round. The former Turkish Champions have not been outstanding this season, and Olayinka will hope to capitalise on that when his Prague side goes up against the Yellow Canaries.
Other fixtures in the Conference League are:
Rapid Wien vs Tottenham Hotspur
Midtjylland vs PAOK
Sparta Prague vs Partizan Belgrade
Celtic vs Bodo Glimt
Leicester City vs Randers
Fenerbahce vs Slavia Prague
PSV Eindhoven vs Maccabi Tel Aviv
Marseille vs Qarabag.
Meanwhile, the Champions League draws also took place earlier, and Samuel Chukwueze is the only Nigerian player that is present in Europe’s prestigious competition.
Two separate draws took place because the first one was cancelled due to software issues, which led to the improper seeding of teams.
In the first draw, which was cancelled, Villareal were pitched against Manchester City.
But they breathe a sigh of relief as in the second draw, they were given an easier tie against Juventus, who have not inspired confidence this season, especially as they sit sixth in the Serie A, 12 points away from the summit.
The other draws for the Round-of-16 are:
Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
Chelsea vs Lille
Benfica vs Ajax
Sporting vs Manchester City
Inter Milan vs Liverpool
PSG vs Real Madrid