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    Zenit Draw Liverpool in Europa League

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    Zenit St. Petersburg will play Liverpool in the first knockout stage of the Europa League, while Rubin Kazan drew defending champions Atletico Madrid.

    MOSCOW, December 20 (R-Sport) - Zenit St. Petersburg will play Liverpool in the first knockout stage of the Europa League, while Rubin Kazan drew defending champions Atletico Madrid.

    Zenit fell into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Malaga and AC Milan.

    Luciano Spalletti's men face the top side in the competition's history for the first time. Liverpool may rely their former Zenit center back Martin Skrtel for inside information on the Russian champions.

    Skrtel switched to Merseyside in 2008, just a few months before Zenit clinched the UEFA Cup for the first time.

    Rubin, who qualified as group winners after a campaign that included a 3-0 win over Inter Milan, have possibly the toughest draw of all in Atletico, riding high in second in La Liga and fueled by star striker Falcao.

    The teams have never played, though Rubin have a reasonable record against Spanish opposition, with one win, two draws and one defeat, all against Barcelona.

    Guus Hiddink's Anzhi Makhachkala, meanwhile, drew relatively modest opposition in German side FC Hannover.

    Anzhi finished second in Group A behind Liverpool after losing their final match against Young Boys and as a result have the disadvantage of playing their second leg away.

    The final is at the Amsterdam Arena on May 15.

     

    Complete round-of-32 draw:

    BATE Borisov vs. Fenerbahce

    Inter Milan vs. FC Cluj

    Levante vs. Olympiacos

    Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Liverpool

    Dynamo Kiev vs. Bordeaux

    Bayer Leverkusen vs. Benfica

    Newcastle United vs. Metalist Kharkiv

    Stuttgart vs. Genk

    Atletico Madrid vs. Rubin Kazan

    Ajax vs. Steaua Bucharest

    FC Basel vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

    Anzhi Makhchkala vs. Hannover

    Sparta Prague vs. Chelsea

    Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Lazio

    Tottenham Hotspur vs. Lyon

    Napoli vs. Plzen

     

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