Europa League knockout draw simulated with Man Utd facing tough test against Ajax as Erik ten Hag heads back to old club | The Sun

ERIK TEN HAG has been handed an emotional return to Ajax… in a simulated Europa League draw.

Manchester United's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on Thursday night wasn't enough for the Red Devils to top their group.


As a result they face a play-off tie against one of the teams to have dropped down from the Champions League, instead of being handed a bye to the Last 16.

That means the likes of Barcelona and Juventus are potential opponents.

But a simulated draw has handed Ten Hag and Co an even better tie – an emotional reunion with Ajax.

The Dutch champions, and Ten Hag's old team, have dropped into the Europa League after finishing behind Napoli and Liverpool in the Champions League.

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And Old Trafford gaffer Ten Hag could face a trip to his old stomping ground less than a year after ditching the Dutch side for United.

United are the only Premier League team in the play-off round, with Arsenal safely through straight to the round of 16 as group winners.

Nevertheless, the simulated play-off round has still thrown up some interesting ties.

Jose Mourinho's Roma were drawn out of the hat against German outfit Bayer Leverkusen, who took four points off Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stages.

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PSV Eindhoven vs Juventus is another interesting clash, especially given the Italian side's struggles this season.

Juve lost five out of their six Champions League group games, and are struggling just as much domestically as well.

Elsewhere the simulated draw handed Barcelona a favourable tie against French outfit Rennes.

The Spanish giants failed to qualify for the Champions League knockouts for a second year on the bounce, finishing behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in their group.

The other simulated play-off ties were Sevilla vs Monaco, Shakhtar Donetsk vs Midtjylland, RB Salzburg vs Union Berlin, and Sporting Lisbon vs Nantes.

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