Last season’s Belgian League Champions Club Brugge qualified thanks to finishing third in their Champions’ League group. Ivan Leko’s men will take on the Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. Although not one of Europe’s top teams Red Bull Salzburg have dominated Austrian football in recent years, winning 5 consecutive league titles.
It will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs. However, Red Bull Salzburg have played other Belgian opponents in European competition in recent years. In 2013 the Austrians were beaten twice by Standard de Liège in the group stage of the Europa League. Standard also knocked them out of the Europa League in 2009.
Salzburg qualified from their group together with the Scottish champions Celtic. The Austrians’ strikers Dabour and Gulbrandsen scored no fewer than 7 goals in the group stage.
KRC Genk to take on Slavia Prague
The league-leaders KRC Genk will take on Slavia Prague. This too will be the first time that the two clubs have met.
The Czechs qualified from a tough group consisting of Zenit Saint Petersburg (the group winners), Bordeaux and Copenhagen.
Slavia have displayed strength in defence, keeping clean sheets in 3 of their 6 group stage games.
KRC Genk will play the first leg of their tie away, while Club Brugge will play the first leg at home. The first leg games will be played on Thursday 14 February, while the return leg will be played a week later on 21 February 2019.