Mourinho’s Roma and Cristiano’s United, great dangers for Barça and Sevilla

Europa League playoff draw this Monday at 1:00 p.m.


FC Barcelona and Sevilla cross their fingers not to have a very demanding cross in the draw this Monday for the ‘playoff’ of a Europa League that has the best poster of recent times, with Rome and Manchester United as the worst possible rivals.

The culé team is seen again in the second UEFA competition, this time because of Inter Milan and a group of death that was great with Bayern Munich as well. Xavi Hernández’s men, eliminated last year by Eintracht in the quarterfinals, aspire to go far without neglecting the fight in the League.

This Monday at 1:00 p.m. the playoff draw will take place at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland), an extra round played by the second-placed teams in the Europa League group stage and the eight teams that fall of the ‘Champions’, case of the Spanish.

Sevilla also couldn’t get past their tough group in the Champions League, behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. Now, with Jorge Sampaoli on the bench, the king of the Europa League hopes for better luck in ‘his’ tournament, where he aspires to the seventh title.

The eight winners of this ‘playoff’ will go to the round of 16 draw on February 24 along with the eight teams that won their Europa League groups, including Real Sociedad and Real Betis.

Manchester United, Midtjylland, Nantes, Monaco, Rome, PSV Eindhoven, Union Berlin and Rennes are the possible rivals of Barça and Seville for this ‘playoff’. Among them, United and Roma stand out, for their quality and for the curiosity they entail, especially for the culé team, which could be seen with two former Real Madrid players like Cristiano Ronaldo and coach José Mourinho.

The Portuguese striker is not United’s star but he is assuming his role in Erik ten Hag’s team, captain for the first time in the defeat against Aston Villa. The Dutch coach managed to lift a bad start to the campaign to be a more serious team, fighting for the ‘Top 4’ of the Premier.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has a thousand and one stories with Barça, the club where he was in his early days and as Madrid coach in an epic of high tension. The Portuguese coaches Roma for the second year and, after winning the Conference League last year, has achieved some stability and regularity in the Roman team.

Both Sevilla and Barça are not seeded, so they will play the first leg at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán and the Camp Nou, on February 16, and the second leg will be away, whatever the rival, on the 23rd of the same month , in search of the round of 16.