Illustration photo – European League match Monaco – Leverkusen. Pictured is Czech striker Adam Hložek in Monaco on February 23, 2023.
Nyon (Switzerland) – Leverkusen footballers with Czech representatives Adam Hložek and Patrik Schick will face Ferencváros Budapest in the round of 16 of the Europa League. The leader of the English league, Arsenal, will challenge Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, after progressing through Barcelona, will face another Spanish opponent, Betis Sevilla. The first matches will take place on March 9, the return matches a week later. It was decided by lot in Nyon, Switzerland.
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The other eight-final pairs are FC Sevilla – Fenerbahce Istanbul, Juventus Turin – Freiburg, AS Roma – San Sebastian, Union Berlin – Saint-Gilloise and Shakhtar Donetsk – Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Leverkusen eliminated Monaco in the opening round of the playoffs. With a 3:2 victory on Thursday, Bayer overcame the home loss and won the penalty shootout 5:3 thanks to Schick's converted attempt. Hložek replaced his Czech teammate in the 70th minute.
The German team will also start the Round of 16 at home and will play the return match in Budapest, where the Europa League final will take place on May 31 in Puskás Arena. Bayer faced Ferencváros last season in the EL group. Leverkusen won 2:1 at home and lost 0:1 in Budapest.
“Ferencváros are clearly the best team in Hungary, they dominate the domestic competition and won their group in the Europa League. A tough opponent against whom we will have to give our best in both games. But I believe in my team, we want to advance and take the next step,” said the Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso for the club website.
“Leverkusen are an excellent team and a tough opponent. But the fact that we have met them before and played two good games can help us. Both teams have changed a bit since then, but I think we can go to the round of 16 with the confidence that we have a chance,” said the goalkeeper of the Hungarian national team Dénes Dibusz.
Loss for the round of 16 of the European Football League
(first matches on 9. March, second leg on March 16):
Union Berlin – Saint-Gilloise, FC Sevilla – Fenerbahce Istanbul, Juventus Turin – Freiburg, Leverkusen (Hložek, Schick) – Ferencváros Budapest, Sporting Lisbon – Arsenal, Manchester United (Vítek) – Betis Sevilla, AS Roma – San Seb astian, Shakhtar Donetsk – Feyenoord Rotterdam.