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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

13-times European champions Real Madrid face Serie A club Atalanta, who reached the quarter-finals in their first Champions League campaign last season, while Atletico Madrid will face Chelsea in a game which could include the return of striker Diego Costa to Stamford Bridge.

* Manchester United have been handed a tough draw in the Europa League last 32 knockout stage where they will face current Spanish league leaders Real Sociedad.

* Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was awarded the John Eales Medal as Australia’s Rugby Player of the Year on Tuesday, joining former fullback Israel Folau as the only players to have won the award three times. Hooper also won the award, which is voted upon by the Wallabies players after each test match, in 2013 and 2016.

* Arsenal will host Southampton in Wednesday’s (Dec 16) Premier League game behind closed doors after London was placed in the toughest tier of COVID-19 restrictions following a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates.

* Hosts France will play three-time winners New Zealand in the standout match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup pool phase, after the draw was made in Paris on Monday (Dec 14).

* Dutchman Bert van Marwijk is to return as head coach of the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf state’s football association said on Monday, a year after he was sacked from the job. The UAE FA tweeted that an agreement had been reached with the 68-year-old to return to the post ahead of the resumption of the country’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

* Former France manager Gerard Houllier, who rebuilt Liverpool from Premier League underachievers into a side which won a cup treble in 2001, has died aged 73, his former club said on Monday (Dec 14). RMC sport and sports daily L’Equipe said Houllier, who also coached Paris St-Germain, Olympique Lyonnais and Aston Villa, died after having a heart operation in Paris.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News