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Europa League

Apoel handed tough Bilbao test

Cyprus champions Apoel were impressive as they topped their Europa League group

Apoel have been handed a tough draw in the last 32 of the Europa League as they face Basque powerhouse Athletic Bilbao.

The Cyprus champions impressively finished top of their group and were one of the seeded teams during Monday’s draw.

Nevertheless, the two-legged affair against the Spaniards will be a huge test against a very experienced outfit. Athletic reached the final of the competition in the 2011/12 season and got to the quarter-finals last campaign.

Among their ranks is veteran striker Aritz Aduriz who is the joint leading scorer in the competition with six goals, five of which came in the same game against Genk.

The side managed by former Olympiacos coach Ernesto Valverde currently lie in seventh place in Spain’s Primera Division and have lost just one home game this campaign, which was against Barcelona.

The first leg will be played at San Mames on February 16 – the new stadium was completed in 2013 and is known for its incredible atmosphere. The Basque supporters are known to have one of the most passionate fan bases in Spanish football.

The second leg will take place at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia one week later on February 23.

Last 32 draw in full:

Athletic Bilbao v Apoel

Legia Warsaw v Ajax

Anderlecht v Zenit St Petersburgh

Astra v Genk

Manchester Utd v Saint-Etienne

Villarreal v Roma

Ludogorets v Copenhagen

Celta Vigo v Shakhtar Donetsk

Olympiakos v Osmanlispor

Gent v Tottenham

Rostov v Sparta Prague

Krasnador v Fernerbahce

Borussia Monchengladbach v Fiorentina

AZ Alkmaar v Lyon

Hapoel Beer-Sheva v Besiktas

PAOK Salonika v Schalke

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