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Home » EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE LAST-16 DRAW: ASTON VILLA SET FOR AJAX BLOCKBUSTER, FIORENTINA FACE MACCABI HAIFA

EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE LAST-16 DRAW: ASTON VILLA SET FOR AJAX BLOCKBUSTER, FIORENTINA FACE MACCABI HAIFA

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa celebrate 2nd goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 26, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
Jordan Henderson will return to England in the Europa Conference League last 16 after his Ajax side were drawn against Aston Villa. Henderson’s controversial switch to Saudi club Al Ettifaq came to an abrupt end after six months, with the former Liverpool captain moving to the Dutch giants in January. The ties will be played on March 7 and 14.

Aston Villa have been handed a blockbuster tie against Ajax in the UEFA Europa Conference League last 16.

Ajax, who now boast former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson in their ranks, needed extra time in the knockout play-off round to see off Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt on Thursday.
The ties will be played on March 7 and 14, with Villa set to play the second leg at home.
The meeting of the English and Dutch sides, both former European champions, was the showstopper tie of a draw featuring clubs from 13 different countries.
Unai Emery’s side topped their Conference League group, winning four of their six games to finish ahead of Legia Warsaw, AZ Alkmaar and Zrinjski.
But they now have one of the most illustrious names in European football standing between them and a quarter-final spot.
The Amsterdam club finished behind Brighton and Marseille to crash out of the Europa League and drop into the Conference League.
They then squeezed past Bodo/Glimt in the play-off round, needing an extra-time winner from Kenneth Taylor in the second leg in Norway to get through 4-3 on aggregate.
The four-time European champions have had a difficult season and currently sit a lowly fifth in the Eredivisie table, 26 points behind leaders PSV.
Villa, meanwhile, are flying in fourth in the Premier League standings as they eye a surprise Champions League qualification spot.

Fiorentina, who finished as runners-up to West Ham last season, were drawn against Maccabi Haifa.

Turkish giants Fenerbache face Union SG, while Greek heavyweights Olympiacos are up against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Lille take on Sturm Graz.
Servette face Viktoria Plzen, Molde are up against Club Brugge and Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb face PAOK.
The draw saw the eight seeded sides, who topped their Europa Conference League groups before Christmas, face eight unseeded sides who came through the play-offs after either finishing second in their group or dropping down from the Europa League after coming third.

The Europa Conference League final will be played at the AEK Arena in Athens on May 29, 2024.