The draw for the round of 32 of the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League is complete, and it has set Red Bull Salzburg up against Belgium’s Club Brugge.
Salzburg has just closed out an extraordinary unbeaten first half of the 2018-19 season.
Red Bull Salzburg in 2018/19:— Jack Brace (@_JackBrace) December 16, 2018
Games: 37 (inc. friendlies)
• 14 points clear at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga.
• 6 wins out of 6 in the Europa League group stage - 3rd time in Red Bull era.
That sort of form attracts notice, not least because it includes a perfect record - six wins out of six - in this season’s Europa League. RB Salzburg missed the cut for the Group Stage of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League because it was bounced out on away goals by Red Star Belgrade in the playoff round (so it didn’t actually lose in Champions League qualifying, it just got the worst of two draws with Belgrade). In Europa League, it has home and away wins over Celtic, Rosenborg, and sibling club RB Leipzig.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest question hanging over Salzburg now is whether its head coach, Marco Rose, will still be at the club when it resumes Europa League competition in February.
Club Brugge is currently second in Belgium’s top flight. The team has claimed a lucky-losers spot in Europa League after finishing third in its 2018-19 UEFA Champions League group. American goalkeeper Evan Horvath has won some attention during his team’s Champions League run, and might well be starting for his club still when it meets Salzburg.
Club Brugge will host the first leg of the round of 32 match-up on February 14, 2019. Salzburg will host the second leg on February 21.