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UEFA Europa League preview: All-Italy and All-Spain ties, plus Everton as England’s last hope

Italy Soccer Italian Cup

Roma’s Francesco Totti, left, and Fiorentina’s Manuel Pasqual fight for the ball during an Italian Cup, quarterfinal match between Roma and Fiorentina, at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)


Forgive the Europa League’s for not bowing to the Champions League when it comes to Round of 16 match-ups.

The second-tier of European competition gives us a pair of intra-league match-ups, a lone Premier League team to represent England and a doozy between Inter Milan and Wolfsburg.

[ UCL ROUNDUPS: Tuesday | Weds ]

Everton is the Premier League club in question, as the tournament’s second-leading scorer, Romelu Lukaku, and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard will lead the Toffees in a battle for a quarterfinal berth. They’ll host Jeremain Lens and Dynamo Kyiv in Leg No. 1.

The highest-profile matches involve domestic rivalries. Reigning champs Sevilla will go toe-to-toe with Villarreal, while Fiorentina and Roma will tangle in an all-Italy tie.

Nine leagues remain represented in the Europa League: Italy (5), Spain (2), Russia (2), Ukraine (2), Belgium (1), Turkey (1), Germany (1), Netherlands (1) and England (1).

Schedule in full
Everton vs. Dynamo Kyiv
Dnipro vs. Ajax
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs. Torino
Wolfsburg vs. Inter Milan
Villarreal vs. Sevilla
Napoli vs. Dynamo Moscow
Club Brugge vs. Besiktas
Fiorentina vs. Roma

Follow @NicholasMendola