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European Special

Rangers supporters will be rubbing their eyes when arriving in Lisbon on February 17 for their Europa League last 16 first leg encounter with Sporting – the ‘Lions’ play in the same green and white hoops donned by traditional Glasgow rivals Celtic.

Further Portuguese involvement sees Benfica take on Bundesliga side Stuttgart, Braga face Lech Poznan from Poland and champions Porto renew rivalry with Seville.

English representatives Liverpool and Manchester City have been drawn against Sparta Prague and Greek side Aris respectively.

In the Champions League, the outstanding tie of the first knock-out round is the 2009 repeat clash between Arsenal and Barcelona. Not far behind in terms of watchability is Tottenham Hotspur’s meeting with AC Milan following their group stage spectaculars with Inter.

Manchester United play Marseille and Chelsea should not be unduly troubled by Copenhagen.