Man U, Rostov set for hot clash


February 25, 2017
AP Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts during a Europa League round of 32 second leg match between against Saint Etienne on Wednesday. Manchester United won 1-0.

NYON, Switzerland (AP):

The risk of fan violence looked high in the last 16 of the Europa League after yesterday's draw produced a volatile matchup between Manchester United and Rostov.

Russian and English fans clashed in Marseille last year during the European Championship. United and Rostov are followed by firms of hardcore fans.

According to UEFA coefficients, Rostov is the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, but they finished second in the Russian league last season and beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage last November.

"It will be a nice experience, we will have the chance to play at Old Trafford," said Rostov midfielder Andrei Prepelita. "They have top players and a top coach, but we've had good results and we beat Bayern. It is good to play the first leg at home and I hope the cold weather will be on our side."

United manager Jose Mourinho said it was a "bad draw in every aspect," pointing to Rostov's quality and the distance United need to travel for the first leg on March 9. The two legs will be played either side of United's FA Cup quarter-final match at Chelsea on March 13.

The draw also pitted Gent against Genk, only the second all-Belgian matchup in the history of UEFA competitions.

French side Lyon will be up against Roma, and there will be an all-German showdown between Schalke and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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