Europa League – Round of 32 Draw

Europa League is taking a break until February now that the group stage is complete. But before it does, they needed to determine the pairings for the next round of matches.

The draw took place on 17 December at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The knockout phase in Europa features 16 more clubs than Champions League, and another round, so they’ll be playing (nearly) weekly matches once play resumes on 14 February.

As a reminder, here’s how the twelve groups were settled during group play:

GroupWinners (seeded in draw)Runners-up (unseeded in draw)
ABayer Leverkusen (GER)Zürich (SUI)
BRed Bull Salzburg (AUT)Celtic (SCO)
CZenit Saint Petersburg (RUS)Slavia Prague (CZE)
DDinamo Zagreb (CRO)Fenerbahçe (TUR)
EArsenal (ENG)Sporting CP (POR)
FReal Betis (ESP)Olympiacos (GRE)
GVillarreal (ESP)Rapid Wien (AUT)
HEintracht Frankfurt (GER)Lazio (ITA)
IGenk (BEL)Malmö FF (SWE)
JSevilla (ESP)Krasnodar (RUS)
KDynamo Kyiv (UKR)Rennes (FRA)
LChelsea (ENG)BATE Borisov (BLR)

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Europa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Entering Matchday 6 of the Europa League, there were 11 spots available in the knockout phase of the tournament. (I covered all the scenarios here and here for the groups that mattered). Most of the matches that mattered on Thursday went as expected, though there were a couple of surprises based on the tournament up … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Recap

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Click here for Part 1 and a look at all the settled groups in Europa League. Click here for Part 2 and a look at the groups with one spot open. There are eight groups – and 23 clubs – that will actually have something to play for during Matchday 6. I’ve broken these eight … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 3)

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1 and a look at all the settled groups in Europa League.

There are eight groups – and 23 clubs – that will actually have something to play for during Matchday 6. I’ve broken these eight groups into two groups of four: those with one spot open and those with both spots open. I tried to outline all the scenarios based on potential outcomes today without diving too deep into the tiebreakers; if seeding or advancement comes down to disciplinary points (the 11th tiebreaker), than you won’t find those here. (I’m just honestly not that great at predicting scores).

The completely open groups will be discussed in Part 3, which is where the most excitement will be happening. In both posts, I’m going to be referencing the FiveThirtyEight Europa League Predictions to show which clubs are favored for what spots, so feel free to open that link in a separate window/tab so I don’t have to keep linking it later.

Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 2)

Europa League – Matchday 6 Scenarios (Part 1)

The final day of the Europa League group stage is here, and we have five of the 12 groups unsettled at the top, with three groups that are still looking for both participants in the knockout phase. 23 clubs enter Matchday 6 playing for 11 remaining spots, attempting to join the 13 clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Dynamo Kyiv, Red Bull Salzburg, Lazio, Sporting CP, Fenerbahce, Real Betis, Dinamo Zagreb, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Zurich – that have already clinched advancement.

Why Winning the Group Matters

For the groups still left to be completely decided, it is in the clubs’ best interest to finish in first place if possible. As a refresher, the knockout phase of Europa League features the first and second place clubs from each of the 12 groups – plus the eight third-place teams from Champions League. Clubs are drawn against each other for two legs (with clubs from the same association unable to face each other), with the group winners and the top four third-place teams seeded for the draw.

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Europa League – Matchday 5 Recap

We have completed five matches in the group stage of Europa League, and over half of the participants (13 of 24) for the knockout stage have secured their advancement: Bayer Leverkusen leads Group A with 10 points (goal differential of +3), ahead of… Zürich because Zurich only has 9 points after losing yesterday 🙁 Red … Read moreEuropa League – Matchday 5 Recap