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Reds paired with Unirea

Liverpool have been given a favourable draw after being paired against Unirea Urziceni in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Reds could have been forced to to play the likes of Juventus, AS Roma or Rubin Kazin after their disappointing Champions League performance saw them miss out on the seedings for Europe's second-ranked club competition.

But after finishing a distant third in their Champions League group, they will go head-to-head with the Romanian champions in the first knockout round.

Unirea are managed by former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu and also dropped in to the Europa League after finishing third behind Sevilla and Stuttgart in Group G.

However, they can be dangerous opposition as their 4-1 Champions League victory over Scottish champions Rangers at Ibrox proved.

Meanwhile, Fulham have been handed a daunting tie after being drawn to face current Europa League holders Shakhtar Donetsk.

Roy Hodgson's side booked their place in the last 32 by overcoming FC Basel 3-2 in their final group stage match on Wednesday.

It doesn't get any easier for the Cottagers as they will face the winners of the Ajax versus Juventus tie should they progress to the last 16.

Everton have also been handed a tricky tie after being paired with Sporting Lisbon. The Toffees were thrashed 5-0 by Benfica in Portugal and lost 2-0 in the return leg during a turbulent group stage.

Manager David Moyes will be hoping his lengthy injury list recedes before the return to European action in February.

The first legs of the last 32 matches will be played on February 18 and 25 with the return games scheduled for March 11 and 18.

Europa League round of 32 draw:

Rubin Kazan v Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Athletic Bilbao v Anderlecht

FC Copenhagen v Marseille

Panathinaikos v AS Roma

Atletico Madrid v Galatasaray

Ajax v Juventus

Club Brugge v Valencia

Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk

Liverpool v Unirea Urziceni

Hamburg v PSV

Villarreal v Wolfsburg

Standard Liege v Red Bull Salzburg

FC Twente v Werder Bremen

Lille v Fenerbahce

Everton v Sporting

Hertha Berlin v Benfica.

Europa League round of 16 draw:

Club Brugge/Valencia v FC Twente/Werder Bremen

Ajax/Juventus v Fulham/ Shakhtar Donetsk

Lille/Fenerbahce v Liverpool/ Unirea Urziceni

Panathinaikos/AS Roma v Standard Liege/Red Bull Salzburg

Hertha Berlin/Benfica v FC Copenhagen/Marseille

Atletico Madrid/Galatasaray v Everton/Sporting Lisbon

Rubin Kazan/Hapoel Tel Aviv Villarreal/Wolfsburg

Hamburg/PSV v Athletic Bilbao/Anderlecht.

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Article title: Reds paired with Unirea

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