Europa League: Real Sociedad v Manchester United in Turin; Benfica v Arsenal in Rome

Allianz Stadium in Turin
The Allianz Stadium is home to Italian champions Juventus

Manchester United and Arsenal will both play their Europa League last-32 first-leg matches at neutral venues because of Covid-19 restrictions.

United's game against Spanish side Real Sociedad will be played at Juventus' Allianz Stadium in Turin.

Arsenal's encounter with Benfica will be held at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Both ties remain on their original date of Thursday, 18 February, with United's game starting at 17:55 GMT, before Arsenal's tie begins at 20:00 GMT.

Spain has placed restrictions on travellers from the UK, where a new variant of Covid-19 is present, while the UK implements strict coronavirus quarantine rules around people returning from Portugal.

United's second leg, to be played at Old Trafford at 20:00 GMT on Thursday 25 February, is unaffected, but a venue for Arsenal's 'home' game against Benfica on the same date has not yet been confirmed.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were set to travel to Reale Arena, in San Sebastian, Spain, with Mikel Arteta's Arsenal originally set to face Benfica at their Estadio da Luz ground in Lisbon.

The venue changes come after Liverpool and Manchester City both had Champions League last-16 first leg matches in Germany moved to Budapest, Hungary.

Germany has banned most travel from countries affected by new variants of Covid-19, including the UK.

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Stadio Olimpico
Lazio and Roma play at the Stadio Olimpico, which also hosts Italy's rugby union matches in the Six Nations Championship

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