Celtic thrown a curveball in UEL draw

Getty Images

Scottish champion Celtic faces a tough test against Zenit while Arsenal will undoubtedly be happier with its UEFA Europa League Round of 32 opponent.

Celtic will have to overcome a classy Zenit side over two legs if it is to progress to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.

Monday saw the draw for the Round of 32, with the likes of Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund joining the Hoops as some of the big name teams.

Arsenal was handed an away trip to Sweden to play tournament debutant Ostersund, a tie Arsene Wenger will be confident of his Gunners handling without too much trouble.

The Swedish minnow was still a month away from being formed when Wenger took over the Gunners in September 1996, but the two teams will compete on an even footing next year.

Under English boss Graham Potter Ostersunds has won three promotions since 2011, before qualifying for continental football by winning the domestic cup last season.

After coming through three qualifying rounds, it finished second in Group J and has been rewarded with a clash against the 13-time English champion, a tie that will see Potter return home looking to write another piece of history.

For Napoli, which finished third in its UEFA Champions League group behind Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Leipzig awaits and the German side will be confident of making it through having taken it up to the giants of the Bundesliga over the past couple of seasons.

Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has also been prioritising Serie A success, so the Bundesliga club may find it easier than expected with the Italian side locked in a tight battle at the top of Serie A with Juventus and Inter Milan.

Borussia Dortmund's new boss Peter Stoger faces a tricky test against Atalanta while Lyon will host Villarreal in another juicy tie.

AC Milan will likely be thankful for being drawn against Ludogorets, but given the struggles the Serie A giant has endured this season, nothing is guaranteed.

The first legs will be played on February 16 (AEDT) and the return games contested a week later on February 23 (AEDT).