Naija stars Iwobi, Gero clash in Europa League round of 32

Europa League By: Ambrose Udeme | 11/12/2017

Former Nigeria youth international Salisu Gero of Ostersunds has been drawn against Alex Iwobi's Arsenal in the UEFA  Europa League last 32 draw held at the UEFA Headquarters on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland.

The Kano born Nigerian star Salisu Gero advanced to the next round of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday after finishing second in Group J with Östersunds.

Gero's Swedish side Östersunds managed to go through as Group J's runner-up after losing top spot to Athletic Bilbao on goals difference as both teams finished with 11 points apiece.

Recall, Gero represented Nigeria at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The Flying Eagles lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the round of 16.

Iwobi and his Arsenal team-mates finished top of their group with 13 points following a final day romping of BATE Borisov last Thursday.

Draw procedure

There were two pots of clubs for the round of 32 draw: the 12 group winners and the four best third-ranked teams in the UEFA Champions League group stage are seeded. They were drawn against the 12 group runners-up and the remaining third-placed UEFA Champions League sides.

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Seeded: AC Milan (ITA), Arsenal (ENG), Atalanta (ITA), Athletic Club (ESP), Atlético Madrid* (ESP), Braga (POR), CSKA Moskva* (RUS), Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Lazio (ITA), Leipzig* (GER), Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS), Plzeƈ (CZE), Salzburg (AUT), Sporting CP* (POR), Villarreal (ESP), Zenit (RUS)

Unseeded: AEK Athens (GRE), Astana (KAZ), Celtic* (SCO), Crvena zvezda (SRB), Dortmund* (GER), FCSB (ROU), København (DEN), Ludogorets (BUL), Lyon (FRA), Marseille (FRA), Napoli* (ITA), Nice (FRA), Östersund (SWE), Partizan (SRB), Real Sociedad (ESP), Spartak Moskva* (RUS)

Games will be played in principle on Thursdays 15 and 22 February, with the exact schedule released after the draw. The seeded teams are at home in the second leg.

Ostersunds v Arsenal

Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta

Nice v Lokomotiv Moscow

Copenhagen v Atletico Madrid

Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao

AEK Athens v Dynamo Kiev

Celtic v Zenit

Napoli v RB Leipzig

Red Star Belgrade v CSKA Moscow

Olympic Lyon v Villarreal

Real Sociedad v Salzburg

Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen

Steaua Bucharest v Lazio

Ludogorets v AC Milan

Astana v Sporting CP