Updated: Friday, 19th July 2019 @ 2:43pm

Tough tests for both Manchester City and United following Europa League draw

Tough tests for both Manchester City and United following Europa League draw

By Melanie Hughes

Manchester City and Manchester United face tough ties in the Europa League draw which was made today.

City have drawn the holders, Porto and United face seasoned European competitors, Ajax; a match worthy of Champions League status rather than Europa League.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who has never faced Ajax before in European competition in his 25-year tenure, said: “Ajax are a good team, I'm looking forward to it.”

Manchester United Defender, Chris Smalling, said: “It was a massive disappointment going out of the Champions League. This will be a good test. A lot of the teams will be keen to do well.

United won’t be taking the Dutch giants lightly and nor they should. The four-time European cup winners are trying to rebuild their place within the continent’s elite and are hoping to cement that status with a win over United.

Ajax Commercial Director, Henri Van Der Art, said: “For our fans it is a fantastic match. There are two famous teams who respect each other.”

Manchester City, on the other hand, face a Porto side who went unbeaten last season in an impressive run.

The Portuguese team were lead to victory in this competition last year by, now Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas.

Manchester City Administrator Brian Marwood, said: “It's amazing. We've gone through the hardest group in the Champions League and now got the holders of the Europa League.”

Because of the fixture scheduling and the fact that both Manchester clubs may have to play home matches on the same night City will be forced to move their tie.

City will be forced to move because United have a higher UEFA coefficient rating and will probably play their matches on Wednesday nights at 6pm.

This is obviously not great for fans with work commitments wishing to attend but it’s better than the Thursday afternoon option which was discussed earlier this week.

If City proceed they will face either Sporting Lisbon or Legia Warsaw. If Manchester United are successful they face the prospect of either Lokomotiv Moscow or Athletic Bilbao however the Manchester clubs cannot meet each other until the quarter-finals at the earliest.

The first round of games will take place on the 16 and 23 February.