Lyon will face Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to kick off their Europa League campaign.
Lyon's course is now set. Early on Monday afternoon in Nyon (Switzerland), the draw was held for the Europa League round of 32. It turned out rather well for seeded team OL, as Bruno Genesio's men will do battle with the Dutch of AZ Alkmaar on 16 and 23 February, with the return match to be played at the Parc Olympique in Décines.
AZ Alkmaar are currently fifth in the Dutch national league after 16 rounds. John Van Den Brom's players are eight points behind third-placed PSV Eindhoven and 14 points off league leaders Feyenoord of Rotterdam. To reach the Europa League round of 32, the losing finalists of 1980-81 finished in second place in Group D with eight points, behind Zenit Saint Petersburg.
OL have never faced AZ Alkmaar before, except with the ladies in the Women's Champions League in 2010. Lyon have, however, played ten times against Dutch clubs with several matches against Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Heerenveen. Who could forget the two fixtures of the quarter-final tie of the 2004-2005 Champions League against PSV Eindhoven that turned out in favour of the Dutch?
The full draw