The UEFA Europa League round of 32 is completed on Thursday with almost all the ties delicately poised.
In only two of the fixtures are the teams split by more than one goal; FC Rubin Kazan going to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC 3-0 up and Olympique de Marseille defending a 3-1 lead at home to FC København. The winners of that tie already know their round of 16 opponents will be SL Benfica, who knocked out Hertha BSC Berlin in Tuesday's sole second leg.
Several big names are going into the matches needing to overturn deficits. Last season's UEFA Cup winners FC Shakhtar Donetsk will start the visit of Fulham FC 2-1 down, while 2008/09 runners-up Werder Bremen trail FC Twente 1-0. The victors of Shakhtar's tie will face Juventus or AFC Ajax, with the Italian club having won 2-1 in Amsterdam last week, while hoping to play Bremen or Twente, Valencia CF must overturn a 1-0 deficit against Club Brugge KV. In a happier position are former European champions Liverpool FC and Hamburger SV, respectively travelling to FC Unirea Urziceni and PSV Eindhoven 1-0 up.
The round of 16 ties are played on 11 and 18 March with the winners progressing to the draw for the rest of the competition, which takes place in Nyon from 13.00CET on 19 March. The quarter-finals are played on 1 and 8 April, the semis on 22 and 29 April and the Hamburg final on Wednesday 12 May.