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UEFA Europa League draw for knockout play-offs: Who can Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and other teams face?

And then there were 24. The UEFA Europa League group stage came to a close on Thursday as the field slightly narrowed down from 32 teams to 24 ahead of Monday’s 7 a.m. ET draw on Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ. Why? Because of the introduction of the UEFA Europa Conference League, the round of 32 has been eliminated from the format. Instead, the top-two finishers from eight groups (16 teams) join the third-place finishers from the UEFA Champions League (eight teams) to make up the field for the knockout stage ahead of Monday’s draw from Nyon, Switzerland. 

The group winners will essentially receive a bye in the next round and won’t start their knockout stage journey until the round of 16. They will wait until the UEL group runners-up and the UCL third-place finishers duel in the knockout play-offs, which will narrow the field down from 24 to 16 by the end of February.

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Europa League knockout stage participants

UEL group winners: 

  • Group A: Lyon (FRA)

  • Group B: Monaco (FRA)
  • Group C: Spartak Moscow (RUS)
  • Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
  • Group E: Galatasaray (TUR)
  • Group F: Red Star Belgrade (SER)
  • Group G: Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
  • Group H: West Ham United (ENG)

UEL group runners-up (seeded in knockout play-offs):

  • Group A: Rangers (SCO)
  • Group B: Real Sociedad (ESP)
  • Group C: Napoli (ITA)
  • Group D: Olympiacos (GRE)
  • Group E: Lazio (ITA)
  • Group F: Braga (POR)
  • Group G: Real Betis (ESP)
  • Group H: Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

UCL third-place finishers (unseeded in knockout play-offs):

  • Group A: RB Leipzig (GER)
  • Group B: Porto (POR)
  • Group C: Borussia Dortmund (GER)
  • Group D: Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)
  • Group E: Barcelona (ESP)
  • Group F: Atalanta (ITA)
  • Group G: Sevilla (ESP)
  • Group H: Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS)

How to watch Europa League draw

Date: Monday, Dec. 13 | Time: 7 a.m. ET

Location: UEFA headquarters — Nyon, Switzerland

TV and live stream: CBS Sports HQ and Paramount+

What are the draw rules?

The eight UEL group runners-up are seeded, and will be paired against the eight Champions League group third-placed teams, who are unseeded. Teams from the same country also cannot be drawn against one another. For instance, Xavi and Barcelona cannot be paired against Spanish sides Real Betis or Real Sociedad — their possible opponents are: Rangers, Napoli, Olympiacos, Lazio, Braga, Dinamo Zagreb. Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund won’t have any limitations as there are no German teams that are seeded. Possible opponents include: Rangers, Real Sociedad, Napoli, Olympiacos, Lazio, Braga, Real Betis, Dinamo Zagreb.

Once teams are drawn, they will meet in two-legged ties — first legs will be played on Feb. 17 and second legs will be on Feb. 24. The away goals rule will no longer be used to decide the ties, which means if tied after two legs, we’ll see extra time and then to a penalty shootout if a winner is not scored. The round of 16 draw will take place a day after the second legs, on Feb. 25 at 7 a.m. ET.

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