The Europa League draw did its duty today, taking Jurgen Klopp's new club Liverpool and pairing them off against his old club Borussia Dortmund. It's going to be emotional. It's going to be tear-jerking. It should also be a pretty decent game: Liverpool have blown hot and cold since Klopp's taken over but have done okay against the big teams, while Dortmund were clinical in their dissection of Tottenham in the previous round.
Holders Sevilla, who have never failed to win the competition after reaching the last eight, will be delighted to have avoided both the teams above. However, they face a tricky trip to Athletic Bilbao, who controversially eliminated Valencia in the previous round. The two teams are separated by just one point in La Liga, though Sevilla won, 2-0, when they played back in January.
The other half of the draw isn't quite as glamorous, but the ties are pretty interesting nonetheless. Sparta Prague's shock win over Lazio has been rewarded with a trip to Villarreal, currently fourth in Spain. The Europa League wouldn't be the competition it is without two teams having to cross the entire continent, and it's Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk and Portugal's Braga that have to make the biggest journeys of the round. Worth it, though. Braga's stadium, cut out of a quarry, is a beautiful thing.
Braga vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Villarreal vs. Sparta Prague
Athletic Bilbao vs. Sevilla
Borussia Dortmund vs. Liverpool
Ties to be played on Thursday, April 7, and Thursday, April 14