Tricky ties await Manchester pair

PA Sport
FC Porto

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FC Porto

Manchester City and Manchester United will both face difficult matches in the last 32 of the Europa League after Roberto Mancini's side drew holders Porto and their neighbours were paired with fellow Champions League dropouts Ajax.

The Barclays Premier League pair were among the biggest names to be edged out of the Champions League group stages, both finishing third and being parachuted into Friday's draw in Nyon.

While many expected the demotion to Europe's second tier would be a blow to the pair's prestige, both fixtures would not be out of place in the Champions League knockout phase.

Porto, who secured the trophy last year under the guidance of now Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, host City in the first leg before a return fixture at the Etihad Stadium, while United will play in the Amsterdam ArenA first.

City and Ajax both found themselves in the Europa draw after being edged out of hard groups - City, finishing behind Bayern Munich and Napoli and the Eredivisie side missing out to Lyon and Real Madrid.

Both United and Porto were bettered by less fancied opposition, with Sir Alex Ferguson's side third behind Basel and Benfica and the Portuguese club edged by Apoel Nicosia and Zenit St Petersburg.

Another of the big-name Champions League fallers, Primera Division side Valencia, will face Stoke, with the first leg at the Britannia Stadium.

Lazio meet Atletico Madrid in another eye-catching fixture that will see one side fall well short of their expectations in the competition.

The three other drop-in sides from the Champions League - Viktoria Plzen, Trabzonspor and Olympiacos - have been matched with Schalke, PSV Eindhoven and Rubin Kazan respectively.

The remaining fixtures in the round of 32 are Salzburg v Metalist Kharkiv, AZ Alkmaar v Anderlecht, Steaua Bucharest v FC Twente, Lokomotiv Moscow v Athletic Bilbao, Udinese v PAOK Salonika, Braga v Besiktas, Wisla Krakow v Standard Liege, Hannover v Club Brugge and Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon.

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