Is it possible for Liverpool to be draw against those unmentionables from up the East Lancs Road when the draw for the last 16 of the Europa League is made on Friday?
In a word: yes!
In accordance with UEFA rules, the draw is a “free for all” – all country protections and seedings for group winners / Champions League dropouts will be removed, making an all-English tie a very real possibility.
United are in the pot after crushing Danish minnows FC Midtjylland 5-1 at Old Trafford, while Spurs impressed in their 3-0 win against Fiorentina.
Another potentially interesting opponent would be Gary Neville’s Valencia side. Neville struggled for form when he first took over the club in December, but they’ve won their last four games in all competitions, including a thumping 10-0 aggregate win over Austrian side Rapid Vienna in the last 32.
We could also face a return to Switzerland for a rematch with Basel. They forced us out of the 2014-15 Champions League in the group stage after a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the final game. A win would have sent us through.
Perhaps the most interesting of all, however, would be a tie against Jurgen Klopp’s old side Borussia Dortmund. They beat Porto 3-0 in the last 32, and a return to Klopp’s old hunting ground so soon after his arrival on Merseyside would unquestionably be an emotional affair.
Here’s a complete list of the teams in the hat:
- Braga (Portugal)
- Valencia (Spain)
- Sparta Prague (Czech Republic)
- Lazio (Italy)
- Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
- Athletic Bilbao (Spain)
- Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
- Liverpool (England)
- Manchester United (England)
- Tottenham Hotspur (England)
- Fenerbahce (Turkey)
- Basel (Switzerland)
- Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
- Sevilla (Spain)
- Villarreal (Spain)
- Anderlecht (Belgium)
The draw will be made at noon UK time.