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Monday 16 January 2017

Pogba brothers to do battle in Europa clash

(l-r) Manchester United star Paul Pogba will face his brother Florentin, who plays for St Etienne, in the Europa League Round of 32.
(l-r) Manchester United star Paul Pogba will face his brother Florentin, who plays for St Etienne, in the Europa League Round of 32.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could face his brother Florentin after the Jose Mourinho's side were drawn against St Etienne in the Europa League round of 32, a tie which will also stir memories of the dark days of hooliganism in the 1970s.

The sides met in the old European Cup Winners' Cup in 1977-78 but the first leg in St Etienne was marred by violence involving United supporters.

The English side were kicked out of the competition by UEFA but were reinstated on appeal and ordered to play their home leg outside Manchester, choosing to stage the game in Plymouth in south-west England.

They won the match 2-0 to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

Florentin Pogba, a Guinean international, is a defender for St Etienne although he has only been picked intermittently this season. His brother Paul, who plays for France, joined United from Juventus in the close season for a world record fee.

Borussia Moenchengladbach and Fiorentina, two of the most familiar names in European club football, will meet for the first time.

AS Roma, the only other Serie A team left in the competition after Inter Milan and Sassuolo failed to get past the group stage, are involved in another high-profile match against Spain's Villarreal.

Israel's Hapoel Beer Sheva, who beat Inter during the group stage, were rewarded with a tie against Besiktas, one of eight teams parachuting in from the Champions League.

Two of the other top ties pitted AZ Alkmaar against Olympique Lyonnais and PAOK against Schalke, a repeat of their Champions League playoff tie in 2013-14 which the Bundesliga side edged 4-3 on aggregate.

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