However, City are among the form teams in England, unbeaten in nine matches and third in the Premier League.
"They have a very experienced coach who has done very well in Europe with Valencia and Inter Milan," City's football administrator Brian Marwood told BBC Radio 5 live.
"But we feel we have a very strong group of players. The aim was to do well both domestically and in Europe and the squad is developing game-by-game and the balance is getting better."
Other intriguing ties include Seville against Porto, who between them won three of the five Uefa Cup finals between 2003 and 2007 while Ajax take on Anderlecht of Belgium.
All first legs will be played on 7 February with the return games taking place a week later, while the last 16 is scheduled for March 10 and 17.
Full Europa League draw (last 32):
Napoli v Villarreal Rangers v Sporting Sparta Prague v Liverpool Anderlecht v Ajax Lech Poznan v Braga Besiktas v Dynamo Kiev Basle v Spartak Moscow Young Boys v Zenit St Petersburg Aris Salonika v Man City PAOK Salonika v CSKA Moscow Sevilla v FC Porto Rubin Kazan v FC Twente Lille v PSV Benfica v VfB Stuttgart Bate Borisov v PSG FC Metalist Kharkiv v Bayer Leverkusen
Full Europa League draw (last 16):
Benfica or VfB Stuttgart v Bate Borisov or PSG Besiktas or Dynamo Kiev v Aris Salonika or Man City Rubin Kazan or FC Twente v Young Boys or Zenit St Petersburg PAOK Salonika or CSKA Moscow v Sevilla or FC Porto Lille or PSV v Rangers or Sporting FC Metalist Kharkiv or Bayer Leverkusen v Napoli or Villarreal Anderlecht or Ajax v Basle or Spartak Moscow Sparta Prague or Liverpool v Lech Poznan or Braga
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