Serie A Sides Face A Mixed European Draw

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Monday’s Champions League and Europa League draws saw five Serie A sides all awaiting their fates for the knockout stages. While Inter and Napoli dropped down to the second-string competition following elimination on the final day of the CL group stage, Juventus and AS Roma advanced through, with the Bianconeri among the favourites to win at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid next May.

Here is a run-down of the opponents all the Italian teams will face, with some awaiting more difficult clashes than the rest.

Champions League

Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid

Juve face a stern test versus Diego Simeone’s Atleti, a side who will surely be hoping to participate in the final at their own stadium. Max Allegri’s men have a good record in the competition since his arrival four years ago, however, the stated aim is to lift the trophy for the first time since 1996.

Of course, this time around they have Cristiano Ronaldo among their already talented squad, a player who has netted no less than 22 goals vs Atletico Madrid in his career to date.

Roma vs. Porto

Roma have benefited from a slightly easier draw than their Serie A colleagues, however, Porto will not be easy to beat. The Giallorossi have lost both of their previous two knockout stage meetings versus the Portuguese side, a factor that boss Eusebio Di Francesco has already considered.

“I know that the past meetings between these two clubs do not make for great reading for us,” the tactician commented on the club’s official website. “But over the course of these two games we will try to turn around that record.”

Europa League

Napoli vs. FC Zurich

Along with Arsenal, Chelsea and Sevilla, Napoli are among the top favourites to win the competition outright this season, and should progress versus Switzerland’s FC Zurich in the round of 32. Boss Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times but has never lifted the Europa League trophy, and he will be keen to do so in Baku at the end of the campaign.

Currently eight points behind Juventus in Serie A’s second-place spot, Napoli would do well to prioritise the Europa League this season, a victory that would at last give them something to show for all their efforts and attractive play displayed in the past few seasons.

Inter vs. Rapid Wien

This is another tie that should see an Italian club advance to the round of 16, especially as Inter showed good form for the majority of their Champions League campaign in a group that also contained Tottenham and Barcelona. At the moment the Nerazzurri lack the required consistency to be considered as a front-runner to win the trophy outright, however should show enough quality to reach the latter stages at least.

Lazio vs. Sevilla

Sevilla are the side to have won the most Europa League trophies (five) in the competition’s history, making this an extremely tough fixture for Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio. They will need to recover their form after having recently suffered poor results, and they could well make an exit to their Spanish opponents here.

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About Author

Chloe Beresford is a freelance Serie A writer who has been featured in Mundial magazine, Guardian Sport and in addition to Football Index, regularly contributes to The Sportsman, Tifo Football, Football Whispers and more. She supports Fiorentina and can often be found in the Curva Fiesole as well as attending as many other matches on the peninsula as possible.

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