The pressure on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was lifted somewhat on Monday afternoon after his Red Devils were drawn against Danish side FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.
Having been dumped out of the Champions League and beaten by Bournemouth Van Gaal was hoping to avoid some of the competition’s big hitters and the footballing gods smiled down on him by pairing his struggling side with a team who started their Europa adventure with narrow wins over Gibraltar champions Lincoln Red Imps.
The draw has seen United’s odds of winning the Europa League cut to 10/1 but it was a tougher time for Tottenham as the balls came out of the pot.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men will face Serie A side Fiorentina for the second successive season and after being sent crashing out by La Viola in February the Argentine boss will know his Lilywhites are in for a tough time.
Fiorentina currently occupy second spot in Italy’s top flight, ahead of Napoli, Juventus, Roma and AC Milan.
Spurs have been in fine form for much of the campaign so far but a repeat of their performance in the defeat to Newcastle at the weekend could bring a premature end to their Thursday night outings for this season.
While United’s odds came in after the draw Spurs odds drifted and the White Hart Lane club are now billed as 16/1 shots to win the competition.
Elsewhere, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will return to Germany for his club’s round of 32 clash but not to his side Dortmund. Instead the Reds will head to Augsburg and with BVB currently second in the table and their Europa League opponents struggling in 13th it’s fair to say the draw has been kind on the Anfield club too.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently voiced his concern that Klopp could help Liverpool close the gap on the Red Devils and at odds of 11/1 to win another European title it appears there are plenty of punters who share Fergie’s belief.
Uefa Europa League Round of 32 draw in full:
Valencia v Rapid Vienna
Fiorentina v Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund v Porto
Fenerbahce v Lokomotiv Moscow
Anderlecht v Olympiacos
FC Midtjylland v Manchester United
Augsburg v Liverpool
Sparta Prague v FC Krasnodar
Galatasaray v Lazio
FC Sion v SC Braga
Shakhtar Donetsk v Schalke
Marseille v Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla v Molde
Sporting v Leverkusen
Villarreal v Napoli
Saint-Etienne v Basel
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.