Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma must be wary of Vitesse Arnhem after being paired with the Dutch side in Friday’s Europa Conference League draw for the Round of 16.
Vitesse knocked out Mourinho’s former club Tottenham Hotspur – who started the tournament as joint favorites alongside Roma – in the group stage.
Spurs were beaten 1-0 at Arnhem in October last year, before winning the second leg 3-2 in London in Antonio Conte’s opener.
Vitesse had beaten Dundalk and Anderlecht to reach the group stage, where they took 10 points from six games to qualify as runners-up behind Rennes.
Spurs would have finished above Vitesse had they beaten Rennes in Week 6. But that game was called off due to a COVID outbreak at Spurs and later awarded as the default win for the French side .
After controversially boosting Spurs to a place in the last 32, Vitesse overcame a 2-1 loss for the first time to beat Austria’s Rapid Vienna 3-2 on aggregate this week.
Roma will start as strong favorites to beat Vitesse, with Mourinho expected to take the competition seriously.
Including the qualifying round, Roma have won six, drawn one and lost one of their eight Europa Conference League matches to date.
Roma are currently eighth in Serie A, while Vitesse are sixth in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Elsewhere in Friday’s last 16 Europa League draw, Leicester were up against Rennes, who held Spurs 2-2 in France in the group stage.
Rennes are fifth in Ligue 1 – six points below second place – while Europa League dropouts Leicester currently sit 12th in the Premier League.
But Leicester appear to be meaning business in the Conference League after beating Danish Rangers 7-2 over two legs in the round of 16.
Leicester are currently ranked by British bookmakers as the favorites to become the first-ever UEFA Europa Conference League champions.
Roma are third favorites, just behind Marseille, who will face Basel in the round of 16.
Europa Conference League Draw
Leicester City v Rennes
Marseille v Basel
PAOK vs Ghent
Speed vs AS Roma
PSV Eindhoven v Copenhagen
Slavia Prague v LASK
Bodo/Glimt vs AZ Alkmaar
Partizan v Feyenoord